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History of socialism in tlje United 

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History of Socialism 


in the United States 


Morris Hillquit 



U. PAS- 

ComiGHT, 1903, by 

[Printed in the United States of America] 
Published, October, 1903 



When John Humphrey Noyes published his " History of 
American SociaUsms" (1870), the modern socialist move- 
ment was almost unknown in this country. The "social- 
isms " described by Noyes are merely the social experiments 
of the early schools of communism. Most of these experi- 
ments have since passed out of existence, and those still sur- 
viving can hardly be considered part of contemporaneous 
socialism. Socialism to-day is a vastly different movement 
from what it was in the days of Noyes. The numerous iso- 
lated communities, with their multiform socialisms of various 
hues and shades, have given way to one organized and uni- 
form socialist movement of national scope. 

The growth of the socialist movement in the United 
States has become an object of interest to all students of 
social problems. Many books have been written of recent 
years on the theories of socialism, but its history has re- 
ceived very scant attention. In 1890 A. Sartorius von Wal- 
tershausen published a scholarly work on Modern Socialism 
in the United States,* which contains much valuable mate- 
rial on the history of the movement during the period of 
1850 to 1890. One year later S. Cognetti de Martiis pub- 
lished a book under a similar title.t The author deals with 

•"Der Modeme Socialismus in den'; Vereinigten Staaten von 
t " II Socialismo Negli Statl Uniti." 



the earlier stages of the socialist movement as well as with 
its more modern phases, but contributes little new informa- 
tion on the subject. Neither work can at this date be re- 
garded as a complete history of the socialist movement in 
America, and, moreover, both are written in foreign lan- 
guages, and are for this reason inaccessible to the majority 
of American readers. Of writers in the English language 
Prof. R. T. Ely was the only one to attempt a concise and 
intelligent history of American Socialism,* but Mr. Ely's 
book was written seventeen years ago, and the subject was 
but incidental to the thesis of his work. 

And still a knowledge of the history of socialism is indis- 
pensable for the intelligent appreciation of the movement. 
The circumstances of its origin and the manner of its growth 
furnish the only reliable key to its present condition and sig- 
nificance, and the tendencies of its future development. 

In the preparation of this work I have endeavored to fill 
a gap in the literature on "the subject, and I now present it 
to the public in the hope that it may contribute in some de- 
gree to a better understanding of a m. wement which is fast 
becoming an important factor in the social and po'itical life 
of our country. 

*"The Labor Movement in America," 1886. 



General Introduction. The Industrial Revolution of the 
Nineteenth Century — Social Theories and Socialism — 
"Utopian" Socialism, its Characteristics and Origin — De- 
velopment of Modem Socialism — "Utopian" and Modem 
Socialism Contrasted 7 


Early Socialism 

Introduction. Utopian Socialism and Communistic Ex- 
periments. Communistic Experiments as a Form of 
"Utopian" Socialism — The United States as the Principal 
Field of Operations of Social Communities — Number, 
Strength, and Classification of American Communities . 21 


I. The Shakers. Origin and Growth of the Sect— Social Or- 

ganization and Classes— Religious Beliefs and Mode of 
Life — The Communism of the Shakers . . . .29 

II. The Harmony Society. The "Separatists" and George 

Rapp — Migrations of the Harmonites — " Count De Leon " — 
Present Condition and Accumulated Wealth of the Society 32 

III. ZoAR. Immigration of Sect into the United States — ^Joseph 

Baumeler — Origin of the Zoar Community — Incorporation 
— Litigation — Dissolution 34 

IV. The Amana Community. The "True Inspiration Soci- 

ety "-rrChristian Metz and Barbara Heynemann^^First Set 
tlement in Buffalo, N. Y.-^Emigration to Iowa — ^The Seven 
Amana Villages — Administration of Affairs — Customs and 
Mode of Life 37 

V. Bethel and Aurora. Adventurous Career of Dr. Kfeil — 


Life and Industries of the Communists— Loose Form of 

Organization — Dissolution 4° 

VL The Oneida Community. John Humphrey Noyes and 
"Perfectionism "—Establishment of the Oneida Settlement 
—High Standard of Culture— Religious Doctrmes— "Com- 
plex Marriages " — Schools and Literature — ^An Instance of 
"Mutual Criticism" — Transformation into a Joint-Stock 
Company 42 


I. Robert Owen. Life of Owen — Theory of the Formation of 

the Human Character— The Manufacturmg Village of New 
Lanark — Owen's Business Partners — Conversion to Com- 
munism — Theories of Social Reconstruction — Social Ex- 
periments — Work of Propaganda in England . and the 
United States — "Equitable Banks of Labor Exchange "— 
"Association of all Classes and Nations " — Death of Owen 
— Robert Dale Owen — The Two Evanses — First Political 
Working-Men's Party in New York 51 

II. New Harmony. Location and Appearance of the Settle- 

ment — Founders of the Community — Heterogeneous Crowd 
of Settlers — Seven Successive "Constitutions" — Division 
of the Community — Failure of the Enterprise . . . fit' 

III. Yellow Springs Community. The Swedenborgians of 

Cincinnati— Dr. Roe— Enthusiasm of the Settlers— Brief 
Career of the Experiment 67 

IV. Nashoba. Life of Frances Wright— Purpose and Manage- 

ment of the Settlement — Abandonment of the Experiment . 6g 

V. Other Owenite Experiments. The Haverstraw Commu- - 

nityand the "Church of Reason "—The Coxsackie Com- ' 
munity and Debates on Constitutions— The Ill-fated Ken- 
dal Community . . . . . 71 . 



I. Charles Fourier, His Life and Theories. Education— / 
Literary Productions— Universal Harmony, Passions, At- 
traction, Groups, and Series— The Phalanx— The Little 
Hordes— Distribution of Profits— Cosmogony— Death of 
Fourier __ 



II. FouRiERiSM IN THE UNITED STATES. Albert Brisbane — 

"Social Destiny of Man" — Horace Greeley — The "New 
York Tribune " and Fourierism — Parke Godwin's Works — 
"The Phalanx"— "The Harbinger " — George Ripley, 
Charles A. Dana, John S. Dwight, and William Channing — 
Lecture Tours — Fourieristic Societies and Conventions . 87 

III. FouRiERiST Phalanxes. Character of Fourieristic Ex- 

periments in the United States — Reasons for their Failure 
— Further Careers of Greeley, Brisbane, Ripley, Dana, and 
Dwight 95 

IV. The North American Phalanx. Origin of the Settle- 

ment — Industrial Pursuits — "Equitable" Distribution of 
Profits — Decline of Phalanx — Conflagration of Mill — Dis- 
solution 100 

V. Brook Farm. "Transcendental Club"— "The Dial"— Dec- 

laration of Principles and Constitution — The School and 
the Scholars — Work and Amusements — Conversion to 
Fourierism — Popularity of Brook Farm — Conflagration of 
the Phalanstery — Breaking Up 104 

VI. The Wisconsin Phalanx or Ceresco. Warren Chase— 

A Fourierist Town — Material Prosperity — Unitary and 
Isolated Households — Voluntary Dissolution . . . no 

VII. The Pennsylvania Group. The Sylvania Association — 

The Peace-Union Settlement — The Social-Reform Union 
— ^The Le Raysville Phalanx 112 

VIII. The New York Group. Four Phalanxes of Common 
Origin — Apierican Industrial Union 114 

IX. The Ohio Group. Trumbull, Ohio, Clermont, Integral, and 

Columbian Phalanxes ii5 

X. Other Fourierist Experiments 117 



I. The Origin of Icaria. fitienne Cabet— Revolutionary Ca- 

reer — Exile — "Voyage en Icarie" — Plan of Communistic 
Settlement— "Icarian " Movement— Acquisition of Land in 
Texas— Departure of "Advance Guard" .121 

II. Texas. Landing of "Advance Guard"— A Land- Agent's 

Trick— Death and Disease among the I carians— Retreat 
to New Orleans— Arrival of Cabet and his Followers . 12s 

III. Nauvoo. The Town and its Mormon Founders— Period 



of En)sperity»-Adniinistration of thcGplony— Dispules?- 
Expulsion and Death of Cabet "9 

IV. Cheltenham. The Conservatives and the Radicals . . 131 

V. lo.wA. Decline of Nauvoo — Emigration to Iowa— Hardships 

of Pioneer Life— The Old and the Young— Heated Contro- 
versies — Forfeiture of Charter — "Icarian Community" — 
"Icaria Speranza" — "The New Icarian Community " . i33. 
Observations and Conclusions. Prosperity of Sectarian 
Communities and Failure of Non-Religious Communities — 
Influence of Communistic Rdgime on Formation of Char- 
acter — Enterprise and Inventiveness^Industry and Moral- 
ity, Health and Longevity, Education and Culture . . 138 


The Modern Movement 

Introduction. The Development of Modern Socialism 
IN the United States. Connecting Links between the 
Earlier and the Modem Movement— Difference in the Na- 
ture and Origin of the Two Movements — Social and Indus- 
trial Transformation of the United States — Rise of the 
Factory System — Formation of Classes — Struggles between 
Capital and Labor — Checks on the Growth of Socialism in 
the United States — Economic, Historical, and Political 
Causes — Division of the History of Modem Socialism in 
the United States 149 


I. The Beginnings of the Movement. German Emigrants — 

Communistic Clubs — "Germania" 159 


League. Wilhelm Weitling— ^Childhood and Youth— 
"The Guaranties of Harmony and Freedom "—Weitling's 
Philosophy— First Visit to the United States— The Revo- 
lution of 1848— Retum to this Country— "The Republic.of- 
theWorking Men "—Central Committee of German Tiades 
— First National Convention of German Working Men„on 
American Soil— General Working-Men s League — A Com- 

com Ems II 


TOunistic Experiment in Iowa — Joseph Weydemeyer — ^^"The 
Revolution"— "The Social Republic" i6o 

III. Gymnastic Unions. Origin of the Societies— "Mental 

Gymnastics "-^Socialistic Gymnastic Union-^Place of the 
'Gymnastic Societies in the Early Socialist Movement of 
America i68 

IV. The Commuk ist Club. Membership — Constitution and 

Activity of tl e Club 169 

V. German Soci^xists in the Civil War. German Turner 

-Regiments — ' A^eydemeyer, Willich,and Other German So- 
cialists in the Ranks of the Union Army . . , . 170 


I. The International Working-Men's Association. Re- 

view of the Economic and Political Situation at the Time 
of the Formation of the Intemational'-»-Immediate Occa- 
sion for its ForMation^ — Platform>^Mode of Operation' — 
Conventions — Karl Marx and Michael Bakotinine---'" Alli- 
ance Internationale de la Democratic Socialiste "-^Transfer 
of General Council to New York 175 

II. The International and the National Labor-Union. 

The Trade-Union Movement after the Close of the Civil 
War — Formation of National Labor-Union-^William H. 
Sylvis, his Life and Work in the Labor Movement — His 
Connections with the European International — The Inter- 
national and the National Labor-Union— German Socialists 
in the Union — Dr. A. Donai-^Declme of the National La- 
bor-Union 183 

III. The International in THE United States. The Social 

Party of New York and Vicinity and the General German 
Labor Association-r " Sections " of the International in New 
York, Chicago, and San Francisco— Formation of Central 
'Committee — Rapid Growth of the Organization— The Trou- 
blesome "Section 12 " — Formation of the North American 
Federation — F. A. Sorge — Industrial Crisis of 1873 — 
Tompkins Square Demonstration — Parades of Unem- . 
ployed— The Labor Party of Illinois and the SocialDemo- 
cratic Workingmen's Party of North America — Division in 
flie .Ranks of the American International — End oi the In- 
ternational 194 



IV. The Formation OF THE Socialist Labor Party. Growth 
of the Social Democratic Working-Men's Party— Last Con- 
vention of the National Labor-Union — Treaty of Union Be- 
tween the Socialist Organizations — Formation of Working- 
Men's Party of the United States— Change of Name to So- 
cialist Labor Party of North America 207 


I. The Place of the Socialist Labor Party in the So- 

cialist Movement. Obstacles in the Way of the Party's 
Progress — Efforts to "Americanize" the Movement — Rela- 
tion to Trade-Unions — Politics and Political Alliances — 
Slow Progress of the Party^-Struggle with Anarchism — In- 
ternal Strifes — Achievements of Socialist Labor Party . 213 

II. Career of the Socialist Labor Party. 

1. Early Triumphs and Reverses. Railway Strikes of 

1877 — Battles with Militia — Destruction of Railroad 
Property — Capture of St. Louis — Socialist Propaganda 
— Growth of the Party — National Conventions in New- 
ark, N. J., and Allegheny City, Pa. — Establishment of 
the New York "Volkszeitung" — Arrival of Political 
Refugees from Germany — National Convention in New 

2. Struggles with Anarchism. The Theory and Practise 

of Anarchism — Socialism and Anarchism Contrasted— 
Anarchism in Europe and in the United States — "Rev- 
olutionary Socialist Labor Party"— John Most— The 
Pittsburg Convention of 1883- International Working- 
People's Association— The "Pittsburg Proclamation" 
—Spread of the Anarchist Movement— Controversies 
between Socialists and Anarchists — Disappearance of 
Philip Van Patten— Negotiations for Union of the In- 
ternational Working-People's Association and the So- 
cialist Labor Party— Baltimore Convention of 1883— 
Debate between Most and Grottkau— Renewed Activity 
of Socialists 

3. The Chicago Drama. The Industrial Depression of 

1884-1886— Eight-Hour-Day Movement— The Interna- 
tionalists and the Movement— The McCormick Strike 





— Haymarket Meeting — The Bomb — Popular Indigna- 
tion against Anarchism — Arrest and Trial of Spies, 
Schwab, Fielden, Parsons, Fischer, Engel, Lingg, and 
Neebe — Biographical Notes of the Prisoners — Con- 
viction and Execution of the Chicago Anarchists. . 243 
4. Period of Reconstruction. Revival of Socialist Move- 
ment—Agitation Tour of Liebknecht and the Avelings 
— Buffalo Convention of 1887 — The International Work- 
ing-Men's Association — History, Objects, and Strength 
of the Organization — Factions and Split in the Social- 
ist Labor Party — Rival Conventions in Chicago — 
Steady Progress— New York Convention of 1896 — 
High-Water Mark in the Development of the Party . 252 

III. The Socialist Labor Party in Politics. 

1. Independent Politics. Original Views on Politics — Early 

Political Campaigns — ^ First Victories in Chicago — 
Working-Men's Party of California — First Presidential 
Nominations 259 

2. The Greenback Party. Origin of the Movement — For- 

mation of the Party — Growth and Decline — Socialists 
in the Greenback Convention of 1880 — Political Pessi- 
mism — Alliances with Other Labor Parties . . . 265 

3. The Henry George Movement. Life of Henry George 

— Progress and Poverty — Single-Tax Theory — The 
United Labor Party — The New York Mayoralty Cam- 
pa^ of 1886 — Socialism and Single-Tax Theory Com- 
pared — Socialists in the George Movement — The Syra- 
cuse Convention of 1887 2 f2 

4. Independent Politics Again. The Progressive Labor 

Party — Socialist Tickets in 1888 — Commonwealth Party 
— State Campaigns in New York — Presidential Candi- 
dates of Socialist Labor Party in 1892 and 1896 — Growth 
of Party's Vote 280 

IV. The Socialist Labor Party and the Trade-Unions. 

1. Local Organizations. Trade-Unions in Sympathy with 

Socialism — Central Labor-Union and Central Labor 
Federation of New York — ^entral Bodies of Trade- 
Unions in other Cities — United German Trades- 
United Hebrew Trades 284 

2. The Knights of Labor. Origin and Growth of the Or- 

der — Workings and Ritual— Declaration of Prmciples 
—Socialists in the Order 289 



3. The American Federation of Labor. Federation of Or- 

ganized Trades and Labor-Uilions of the United States 
and Canada— Its Formation and Career— Rivalry be- 
tween the Federation and the Knights— Eight-Hour 
Work-Day— Ameriean Federation of Labor— Its Strug- 
gles and Progress— Socialist Resolutions in its An- 
nual Conventions .....■•• 294 

4. The Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance. Organization 

of the Alliance— Its Aims. Method, and Career— De- 
cline of the Alliance 30i 



I . The Formative Forces of Present - Day Socialism. 

Concentration of Industry — Powerful Labor Organizations 
—Strikes at Homestead, Coeur d'Alene, Buffalo, and Ten- 
nessee — The Pullman Strike — Militia and Injunctions— Ed- 
ward Bellamy's "Looking Backward "—The Nationalist 
Movement — The People's Party— The Omaha Convention 
and Platform — Growth of Socialist Sentiment . . . 307 

II. The Disintegration of the Socialist Labor Party. 

New Requirements of the Socialist Movement — Hostile 
Attitude of Party Leaders toward Trade-Unions and Re- 
form Movements— Frictions within the Party — Hostile Fac- 
tions — Final Breach — Rochester Convention of 1899" . . 322 

III. The Socialist Party. New Socialist Elements — The 

Social Democracy of America — Chicago Convention of 
1898 — Colonization Scheme — Social Democratic Party — 
Progress of the Party — Indianapolis Convention of 1900 — 
Negotiations for Union with the Rochester Faction of the 
Socialist Labor Party — Failure of Negotiations — Rival 
Parties — Presidential Campaign of 1900— Indianapolis Con- 
vention of 1901 — Final Unity — Socialist Party . . . 330 

IV. Present Condition "of the Socialist Movement. De- 

cline of the Socialiil Labor Party— Growth of the Socialist 
Party— Enrolled Mfe^bership — Success at Polls — Party 
Press— Sympathy of Trade-Unions— Condition and Pros- 
pects of the Movement 33g 

Appendix I : Platform of the Socialist Party . . . .349 
Appendix II : Platform of the Socialist Labor Party . . .352 

^''°^'^ • -355 


The nineteenth century was marked by a period of indus- 
trial revolution unprecedented in the annals of history. The 
small manufacture of preceding ages was swept away by 
the gigantic factory system of modern times. The railroad, 
telegraph, and steamboat tore down all geographical barriers, 
and united the entire civilized world into one great interna- 
tional market, while the huge machine and the power of 
steam and electricity increased the productivity of labor a 
hundredfold, and created a fabulous mass of wealth. 

But this process of transformation brought in its wake a 
variety of new social problems. 

While a comparatively small number of men fell heir to 
all the benefits of the process, the greater part of the popu- 
lation often reaped nothing but . suffering and privation 
from the rich harvest. 

The invention of new and perfected machinery reduced 
many skilled mechanics to the ranks of common laborers, 
and deprived many more of work and wages permanently, or 
at least during the long and tedious process of " readjust- 

The planless mode of production and reckless competition 
among the captains of industry produced alternately seasons 
of feverish activity and intense work, and seasons of enforced 
idleness, which assumed alarming proportions during the oft- 
recurring periods of industrial depression. 

The luxury, splendor, and refinement of the possessing 
classes found their counterpart in the destitution, misery, 
and ignorance of the working classes, and the social contrasts 
were more glaring than in any other period in history. 



These evils of modern civilization engaged the attention of 
the most earnest social philosophers and reformers of the 
last century, and numerous remedial systems and theories 
were suggested by them. The most radical of these, the • 
/ theory which discerns the root of all evils in competitive in- 
. ■^iustry and wage labor, and advocates the reconstruction of 
our entire economic system on the basis of a cooperative 
mode of production, received the name Socialism. 

Socialism, like most other social theories and movements, 
passed through many stages of development before it reached 
its modern aspect. 

In its first pha-ses. .soci alism was a humanitarian rathe r 
-than a political movemen t. The early socialists did not ana- 
lyze the new system of production and did not penetrate 
into its historical significance or tendencies. The evils of 
that system appeared to them as arbitrary deviations from 
the "eternal principles" of "natural law," justice, and rea- 
son, and the social system itself as a clumsy and malicious 
contrivance of the dominant powers in society. "" 

True to their theory that social systems are made and un- 
-made by the deliberate acts of men, they usually invented 
a more or less fantastic scheme of social organization sup- 
posed to be free from the abuses of modern civilization, and 
invited humanity at large to adopt it. 

The scheme was, as a rule, unfolded by its author by 
means of description of a fictitious country with a mode of 
life and form of government to suit his own idea&*Of justice 
and reason, and the favorite form of the description was the 
novel. The happy country thus described was the Utopia 
(Greek for Nowhere), hence the designation of the author 
as " Utopian." 

That these theories, should have frequently led in prac- 
tise to the organization of communistic societies'as a social 
experiment, was but natural and logical. 

The Utopian socialists knew of no reason why their plans 
of social organization should not work in a more limited 


sphere just as satisfactorily as on a national scale, and they 
fondly hoped that they would gradually convert the entire 
world to their system by a practical demonstration of its 
feasibility and benefits in a miniature society. 

Utopian socialism was quite in accord with the idealistic 
philosophy of the French Encyclopedists, and lasted as long 
as that philosophy retained its sway. 

The middle of the last century, however, witnessed a great 
change in all domains of human thought ; speculation gave 
way to research, and positivism invaded all fields of science, 
ruthlessly destroying old idealisms and radically revolutioniz- 
ing former views and methods. 

At the same time the mysteries and intricacies of the capi- 
talist system of production were gradually unfolding them- 
selves, and the adepts of the young social science began to 
feel that their theories and systems required a thorough re- 

This great task was accomplished toward the end of the 
forties of the last century chiefly through the efforts of Karl 
Marx, the founder of modern socialism. Marx did for so- 
ciology what Darwin did later for biology : he took it out 
from the domain of vague speculation and placed it on the 
more solid basis of analysis, or, to borrow an expression from 
Professor Sombart,* he introduced realism in sociology. 

The social theories of Karl Marx and the movement based 
on them are styled Modem or Scientific Socialism in contra- 
distinction to Utopian socialism. 

Modern socialism proceeds from the theory that the social 
and political structure of society at any given time and place 
is not the result of the free and arbitrary choice of men, but 
the legitimate outcome of a definite process of historical de- 
velopment, and that the underlying foundation of such struc- 
ture is at all times the economic basis upon which society is 

* Werner Sombart, " Socialism and the Social Movement of the Nine- 
teenth Century," 1898. 


As a logical sequence from these premises, it follows that 
a form of society will not be changed at any given time un« 
less the economic development has made it ripe for the 
change, and that the future of hure^ society must be looked 
for, not in the ingenuous schemes or inventions of any social 
philosopher, but in the tendencies of the economic develop- 

Contemporary socialism thus differs from the early Uto- 
pian phase of the movement in all substantial points. It 
f does not base itsJiopes on the good-will or intelligence of 
men, but on the modern tendency towar d socializatio n of 
the industries . It does notoffer a fantastic scheme of a 
perfect social structure, but advances a realistic theory of 
gradual social progress. It does not address its appeals to 
humanity at large, but confines itself principally to the work- 
ing class, as the class primarily interested in the impending 
social change. It does not experiment in miniature social 
communities, but directs its efforts toward the industrial and 
political organization of the working class, so as to enable 
that class to assume the control of the economic and political 
affairs of society when the time will he ripe for the change. 

Both aspects of the movement have been well represented 
in the history of socialism in the United vStates, and we will 
treat of them separately, devoting the first part of this work 
to an account of Utopian socialism and communistic experi- 
ments, and the second part to the history of modern socialism 

Part I 



We noted in the General Introduction that the theories of 
Utopian sociaHsm frequently led to experiments in commu- 
nistic settlements, and we may add here that these theories 
gained more or less popularity in the United States in a meas- 
ure as the scheme was more or less closely associated with 
such experiments. Thus the system of the great French 
Utopian, Charles Saint- Simon, that had for its principal aim 
the organization of national and international industry on a 
scientific basis, and was a universal social philosophy which 
did not admit of experiments on a miniature scale, found no 
echo in the United States. The philosophy of Robert 
Owen, in which communities are not an essential factor, but 
play an important part as preparatory schools for the com- 
munistic regime and as object lessons in the communistic 
mode of life, gained a considerable foothold in the United 
States, altho it did not attain the same degree of strength 
or exercise the same measure of influence on social thought 
as it did in the country of its birth, England. On the other 
hand, the system of the French Utopian, Charles Fourier, 
which was based principally upon social organizations on a 
small scale, developed more strength in this country than it 
did in France, while the purely experimental Icarian move- 
ment, altho originating in France, found its practical appli- 
cation exclusively in the United States. 


The causes which contributed to make this country the 
chief theater of experiments of the Utopian socialists of all 
nations were many. 

The social experimenters as a rule hoped that their settle- 
ment would gradually develop into a complete society with 
a higher order of civilization. For that purpose they needed 
large tracts of cheap land in places removed from the cor- 
rupting influences of modern life, and America abounded in 
such lands at the beginning and in the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. 

Besides, the industrial and agricultural possibilities of the 
young and growing country, its political liberty and free- 
dom of conscience, had an irresistible charm for these pio- 
neers of the new order of things. 

The number of communistic and semi-communistic colo- 
nies founded in this country during the nineteenth century 
is largely a matter of speculation. 

Noyes,* writing in 1869, gives an account of about sixty 
communities exclusive of the Shaker societies. In 1875 
Nordhoff t enumerated eighteen Shaker societies embracing 
fifty'-eight separate "families" or communes, and twelve 
other, chiefly religious, communities, which, however, in- 
cluded three of those mentioned by Noyes ; and three years 
later Mr. Hinds % recorded sixteen new communities, partly 
in existence and partly in process of formation. Mr. 

•"History of American Socialisms," by John Humphrey Noyes. 

t"The Communistic Societies of the United States," by Charles 

{"American Communities," by William A. Hinds. The greater 
portion of the first part of this book was already written when a 
second revised and enlai^ed edition of Mr. Hinds' work appeared 
from the press of Charles H. Kerr & Company, Chicago. The 
new edition includes an account of the Owenite and Fourieristic 
experiments which were not touched upon in the first edition ; it traces 
the history of the most important religious communities, as well as 
that of the Itarian communities, down t6 date ; adds more than twenty 
new communities to those described by previous authors; and is now 


Shaw *, in 1884, asserted that in the course of his researches 
he had come across at least fifty communities organized 
since 1870, and the Rev. Mr: Kent.t writing in 1901, de- 
scribed twenty-five new communities and brotherhoods 
established in our own days. 

Basing our estimates on the fragmentary accounts of 
these authors, we may safely assume that several hundred 
communities existed in different parts of the United States 
during the last century, and that the number of persons who 
at one time or another participated in the experiments ran 
• into the hundreds of thousands. 

The history of these numerous communities is as varied 
as their classification with reference to their origin and par- 
ticular object, but here we are concerned only with such of 
them which formed part of a general movement directly or 
indirectly connected with a distinct school of Utopian social- 
ism. These we may divide into the following four leading 
groups : 

I. Sectarian Communities 

This group is comprised of the Shakers, the Perfectionists, 
and several communities organized by German immigrants. 
Their primary object was in all cases the free and unham- 
^ pared exercise of their peculiar religious beliefs. Their com- 
munism was but a secondary feature, introduced in some in- 
stances as part of their religious system, and in others as a 
measure to preserve the integrity of their sect and to remove 
their members from the influences of the infidel world. 
They had no general theories of social reconstruction; 

altogether the most elaborate and complete account of American com- 

* " Icaria, a Chapter in the History of Commmiism," by Albert 
Shaw, Ph. D. 

t "Co-operative Communites in the United States," by Rev. 
Alexander Kent, in Bulletin of Department of Labor, No. 35, July, 
1901 . 


they made no propaganda for communism, and established 
their settlements, not as an object-lesson for their neighbors', 
but as a retreat for themselves. They are usually styled 
Religious Communities in the literature on the subject, but 
we hardly think this designation expressive of their aims and 
character. What distinguishes them from other communi- 
ties is, not the fact that they were religious, for so were 
many communities of the other groups, but the fact that 
J their religious beliefs and practises were of a peculiar and 
sectarian nature. 

These communities are the earliest in point of time, the 
strongest in point of numbers, and many of them still sur- 
vive. But in the history of the socialist movement they 
played but a secondary part, and for this reason we will limit 
ourselves here to a brief account of the most important and 
typical of them. 

2. The Owenite Communities 

This was a group of communities founded either by Owen 
directly or under the influence of his agitation. They were 
the first' communities organized in this country in further- 
ance of a general social theory and as a means of propaganda. 
Only twelve of the group were rescued from oblivion, 
altho in all likelihood many more existed. The period cov- 
ered by these experiments is that from the year 1825 to the 
year 1830. 

3. The Fourieristic Communities 

These communities were organized by American followers 
of Charles Fourier. In their plan of organization they 
strove to approach as closely as possible the ideal of the 
industrial communities designated as " Phalanxes " in Fouri- 
er's system, and most of them styled themselves Phalanxes. 

Fourierism was the first socialist system to attain the dig- 
nity of a national movement in the United States. The 


movement lasted about a decade, from 1840 to 1850, and 
produced over forty social experiments in different parts of 
the country. 

4. The Icarian- Communities 

The Icarian settlements were a series of experiments 
growing out from a single enterprise of the Frenchman 
fitienne Cabet, and altho we meet them in five different 
States, at different times and under different names, they 
must be considered as one community. 

The original community "Icaria" was founded in 1848, 
and its numerous offsprings, formed by a constant process of 
schisms and migrations, prolonged its existence for almost 
half a century. 

The Icarian movement developed some strength in the 
fifties of the last century, and was of but little significance 
after that period. Altho conducted on American soil, the 
experiment was confined almost • exclusively to Frenchmen, 
and had little or no influence on the modern reform move- 



Sectarian Communities 



Among the sectarian communities of the United States, 
the Society of the Shakers is one of the oldest in existence. 
The first Shaker settlement was established at Watervliet, 
New York, in 1776. The founder of the movement, and 
first " leader " of the society, was " Mother " Ann Lee, an 
illiterate Englishwoman, who, with a handful of followers, 
came to this country in 1774 to escape religious persecution 
at home. 

Ann Lee died in 1784, and was succeeded by James Whit- 
aker, Joseph Meacham, and Lucy Wright, under whose ad- 
ministration the society made great gains in members and 
wealth, and branched out into a number of communities. 
What strengthened the movement most were the epidemic 
revivals occurring periodically toward the close of the eight- 
eenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, and 
especially the unparalleled religious excitement which broke 
out in Kentucky in 1800 and lasted several years. 

The Shaker societies seem to have reached their zenith in 
the second quarter of the last century, when their combined 
membership exceeded 5,000. In 1874 Nordhoff reports the 
total Shaker population of this country as 2,415 ; this figure 
was reduced to 1,728 in 1890, according to census returns, 
and scarcely more than 1,000 survive at present. 

The Shakers are divided into three classes or orders : 

1. The Novitiate. — ^These are communicants of the 
Shaker church, officially styled the " Millennial Church '' or 
" United Society of Believers," but they live outside of the 
society and manage their own temporal concerns. 

2. The Juniors. — These are members on probation. 
They reside within the society and temporarily relinquish 

/ 29 


their individual property, but they may return to the world 
and resume their property at any time. 

3. The Seniors, or Church Order. — ^This order consists 
of persons who have absolutely parted with their property 
and irrevocably devoted themselves to the service of the 
Shaker church. 

The unit of organization of the Shaker society is the " fam- 
ily." This consists of men and women living together, and 
ranging in number from very few to a hundred and more. 
They maintain a common household, and as a rule conduct 
one or more industries in addition to agricultural pursuits. 

The spiritual affairs of the family are administered by 
" elders," and the temporal affairs by " deacons." 

Several families, usually four, constitute a " society." 

The central government is vested in an executive board 
styled the "ministry" or "bishopric," and consisting of two 
elder brothers and two elder sisters ; the head of the min- 
istry is called the " leading elder " or " leading character." 
The ministry appoints the deacons, and in conjunction with 
them the " caretakers," or foremen, of their various branches 
of industry. 

The leading elder fills vacancies in the ministry, and des- 
ignates his own successor. Each officer of the society, spir- 
itual or temporal, takes orders from his immediate superior, 
and women are represented on all administrative bodies in 
the same manner as the men. 

The principal tenet of their peculiar creed is, that God is 
a dual being, male and female, Jesus representing the male 
element, and Ann Lee the female element. Man, created 
in the image of God, was originally also of a dual character. 
The separation of sexes took place when Adam asked for a 
companion, and God, yielding to the request, cut out Eve 
from his body. This was the first sin committed by man. 
The Shakers, therefore, regard marriage as appertaining to 
a lower order of existence, and are strict celibatarians. - ^ 

The religious history of mankind they divide into four cy- 


cles, each having a separate heaven and hell. The first in- 
■cludes the period from Adam to Noah, the second embraces 
the Jews until the arrival of Jesus, the third extends to the 
period of Ann Lee. The fourth, or " heaven of last dispen- 
sation," is now in process of formation and will include all 

They profess to hold communion with the spirit world, 
and the revelations received by them from those quarters are 
generally heralded by violent contortions of their bodies. 
It is this peculiar feature which earned for them first the 
appellation of " Shaking Quakers," and then of " Shakers." 

The Shakers lead a well-ordered and healthful mode of life. 
They retire at about nine o'clock and rise at five. They 
breakfast at six, dine at twelve, and sup at six. Their diet is 
simple but sufficient. Their favorite dishes are vegetables 
and fruit, and many discard meat altogether. They eat in 
a general dining-hall, the men and women sitting at separate 

Their dormitories, dining-halls, and shops are scrupulously 
clean, and strictest order prevails everywhere. 

Their amusements are few and of a very quiet order : in- 
strumental music is looked upon with disfavor, reading is 
restricted to useful and instructive topics. Singing of hymns 
and discourses in the assembly-room are frequent, and lately 
they are said to have taken to quiet outdoor sports, such as 
picnics, croquet, and termis. 

The communism of the Shakers is part of their religious 
system, but it really extends to the family only. There is 
no community of property in the Shaker society as a whole, 
and one family may possess great wealth, while the other 
may be comparatively poor. 

The Shakers are at present divided into fifteen societies, 
scattered through nine States of the Union. Their aggre- 
gate wealth is estimated in millions, their landed possessions 
alone amounting to over 100,000 acres. 



Within a few miles of Pittsburg, in the State of Penn- 
sylvania, lies a very peculiar village, consisting of about lOO 
dwelling-houses. It is owned jointly by a few old men of 
puritanical habits, who exercise a rather rigid supervision 
over the mode of life of the inhabitants. 

The name of the place is Economy, and the few village 
autocrats are the last survivors of an erstwhile hustling and 
prosperous community. 

The community, officially called the " Harmony Society," 
is more popularly known as the " Rappist Community," and 
has an eventful history, covering a period of almost a full 

Its founder, George Rapp, was the leader of a religious 
sect in Wiirtemberg denominated " Separatists." The pecul- 
iar beliefs of the sect provoked the persecution of the clergy 
and government, and in 1804 Rapp, with about 600 sturdy 
adherents, left Germany and came to this country by way of 
Baltimore and Philadelphia. The main body of immigrants 
were farmers and mechanics, but "there were also among 
them some men of education, and one of them, Frederick 
Reichert, an adopted son of George Rapp, possessed con- 
siderable artistic taste and great administrative talent. 

The first community established by them was " Harmony," 
in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, and within a few years 
they erected a number of dwelling-houses, a church, a 
schoolhouse, some mills and workshops, and cleared several 
hundred acres of land. 

But despite their apparent prosperity, they came to the 
conclusion that the site of the settlement had not been well 
chosen. In 1814 they sold their land with all on it for 
$100,000, and removed to Posey County, Indiana, where 
they purchased a tract of 30,000 acres. 

Their new home was soon improved and built up, and be- 


came an important business center for the surrounding 
country. They grew in wealth and power, and received 
large accretions of members from Germany, so that in 
1824 their community was said to comprise about 1,000 

In that year they removed again. Malarial fevers infest- 
ing their settlement had caused them to look for a purchaser 
for some time, and when at last they found one in the person 
of Robert Owen, they bought the property they still hold at 
Economy, and took possession of it at once. 

How rapidly they developed their new village, appears 
from an account of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, who visited 
them in 1826. He was full of praise of the neatness and 
good order of the village, of the beauty of the houses, the 
excellent arrangement of the shops and factories, and the 
apparent happiness of the settlers. 

The peaceful course of their lives was only once seriously 
disturbed. In 1 831 a " Cpunt Maximilian de Leon " arrived 
at Economy in gorgeous attire and surrounded by a suite of 
followers. He pretended to be in accord with the religious 
views of the settlers, and announced his desire to join them. 

The simple-minded peope welcomed him most cordially, 
and admitted him to their society without any investigation. 
" Count de Leon," whose real name was Bernhard Muller, 
and who was a plain adventurer, soon commenced to under- 
mine the beliefs of the Harmonists, and to advocate worldly 
temptations and pleasures. By his smooth and insinuating 
manners he gained the support of many members, and when 
a separation became inevitable, and the adherents of each 
faction were counted, it was found that 500 members had 
remained true to '"Father Rapp," while 250 declared for the 
" Count." The minxjfity party received the sum of 1^105,000 
for their share in the common property, and, with De Leon 
at their head, removed to Phillipsburg, where they attempted 
to establish a community of their own. But their leader 
forsook them, escaping with their funds to Alexandria, on 


the Red River, where he died of cholera in 1833, and the 
seceders disbanded. 

The Economists in the meanwhile recovered their pros- 
perity very rapidly. At the outbreak of the civil war th-ey 
had about half a million dollars in cash, which, for better 
safety, they buried in their yards until the war was over. 

The Harmonists were not celibatarians at the outset of 
their career, but in 1807, during a strong "revival of relig- 
ion," thfe men and women of one accord determined to dis- 
solve their marriage ties, and henceforward " no more mar- 
riages were contracted in Harmony, and no more children 
were born." 

Outside of their celibacy, the Harmonists were by no 
means ascetics: they enjoyed a good meal and a glass of 
good beer, and in the earlier stages of their history, when 
the members were more numerous and youthful, they led 
a gay and merry life. 

Their communism, like that of the Shakers, is part of their 
religious system, and is limited to the members of their own 
community and church. When their own population was 
large and their pursuits were few, they employed no hired 
labor, but as their numbers dwindled down and their Indus- , 
tries developed, the wage-workers at times outnumbered 
their members ten to one, and at present are, in fact, a lim- 
ited partnership of capitalists owning lands, oil-wells, and 
stocks in various railroad, banking, and mining corporations. 

in.— ZOAR 

The community of Zoar, like that of Economy, was found- 
ed by Separatist emigrants from Wurtemberg. 

For a number of years the founders of the sect carried oft 
an obstinate feud with the government of their country, 
Whose enmity they had provoked by their dissenting religious 
doctrines, but principally by their refusal to serve in the 
army and to educate their childrCh in the public schools. 


Tb^ were fined and sent to prisQn, and driven frqm vil- 
lage to village, until they determined to look to the hospita- 
ble shores of the United States for a refuge from the per- 
secutions of their intolerant fatherland. The generous 
assistance of some wealthy English Quakers enabled them to 
pay their passage, and in 181 7 the first detachment of the 
society, about 200 in number, arrived in Philadelphia, headed 
by their chosen leader, Joseph Baumeler. 

Immediately upon their arrival they purchased several 
thousand acres of land in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and 
went to work clearing much of the land and erecting a num- 
ber of log houses for the members of the community, many 
of whom had remained behind working for neighboring 
farmers. This village thus founded by them they called 

The land, on which but a small cash payment had been 
made, was purchased in the name of Joseph Baumeler, 
with the understanding that a. parcel was to be assigned 
to each member, to be worked and paid off by him indi- 

They had no intention of forming a communistic society. 
But they had a number of old and feeble members among 
them who found it difficult to make their farms pay by their 
own efforts, and it soon became apparent that many mem- 
bers would be compelled to scatter, and that the enterprise 
would fail unless, it was established on a different founda- 

In April, 1819, after a thorough discussion of the situation, 
they resolved accordingly to establish a community of goods 
and efforts, and. from that, time on they prospered. They 
established a blacksmith's^ carpenter's and joiner's shop, 
kept cattle, and earned a little money from work done for 
neighboring farmers. 

The building of a canal through their domain in 1827 was 
a. piece of rare good fortune to them. They obtained a con- 
tiract to do part of the work for the sum of $21, coo, and se- 


cured a market for many of their products. Within a short 
time they lifted the mortgage on their property, and pur- 
chased additional lands. 

Much of their early success the Zoarites undoubtedly 
owed to the wise administration of their leader, Joseph 
Baumeler. Baumeler, who in later years spelled his name 
Bimeler, was a man of little education, but of great natural 
gifts. He was the temporal as well as the spiritual head of 
the community. He had the general supervision of its affairs, 
attended to all its dealings with the outside world, and on 
Sundays delivered discourses to the Zoarites on religion and 
all other conceivable topics. Many of these discourses were 
collected and printed after his death. They make three 
ponderous octavo volumes, and were highly treasured by his 

The Zoarites prohibited marriage at first, but after ten or 
twelve years of celibate life they came to the conclusion that 
it was not good for man to be alone, and revoked the prohi- 

It is related that this change of sentiment on the ques- 
tion of marriage was caused by the fact that Joseph Bimeler, 
at a rather advanced age, fell in love with a pretty maiden 
who had been assigned by the community to wait on him. 
But be this as it may, the fact is that the leader of Zoar was 
one of the first to make use of the new privilege. 

In 1832 the society was incorporated under the laws of 
Ohio, adopting the name of "The Society of Separatists of 

Under their constitution the government of the society's 
affairs was vested in three trustees, who appointed the 
superintendents of their different industries and assigned 
each member to a certain kind of work, always taking 
into consideration the inclinations and aptitudes of the 

They had a standing arbitration committee of five, to 
whom all disputes within the community were referred, and 


annual village meetings at which all members of legal age, 
female as well as male, had a vote. 

The highest point in their development they seem to have 
reached shortly after their incorporation, when their mem- 
bership exceeded 500. In 1874, according to Nordhoff, 
they still had about 300 members, and were worth over a 
million dollars. 

As long as the community was poor and struggling hard 
for its existence, perfect harmony prevailed among the mem- 
bers, but when it had acquired considerable wealth, the 
temptation grew stronger, and efforts were made from time 
to time by discontented members to bring about the dissolu- 
tion of the community and a division of its property. Thus 
in 1851, and again in 1862, suits for partition were brought in 
the Ohio courts by former members, but the courts upheld 
the community, and dismissed the suits of the complainants. 

The movement for a dissolution of the community con- 
tiued, however, and in 1 895 it acquired much strength from 
the support of Levi Bimeler, a descendant of the venerated 
founder of Zoar, and himself an iniluential member of the 
community. The discussion continued for three years, and 
at times vi;axed very warm and acrimonious, until, at the an- 
nual village meeting of 1898, the motion to dissolve was 
finally carried. 

Three members were by general agreement elected com- 
missioners to effect an equitable division, and the amount 
awarded to each member was about ;^i,SCX). 


The Amana Community is the strongest of the surviving 
communistic societies in point of numbers. The community 
was founded by a religious sect denominated " The True In- 
spiration Society," which is said to have originated in Ger- 
many in the early part of the eighteenth century. The 
principal dogma of their faith is that God from time to 


time still inspires certain persons, who thus become direct 
instruments of his will. 

Between 1820 and 1840 a large number of believers gath- 
ered around the principal "instruments" of the society, 
Christian Metz and Barbara Heynemann, in a place called 
Armenburg, in Germany. They found employment in the 
factories of the neighborhood, and their material existence 
seemed pretty well secured, but the increasing persecution 
on the part of the authorities made their further stay in Ar- 
menburg impossible. 

At this juncture Metz had two successive inspirations, one 
directing him to lead the entire congregation out of Ger- 
many, and the other pointing to the United States as the 
future home of the inspirationists. 

Toward the end of 1842 Metz, accompanied by four other 
members of the congregation, accordingly arrived in New ' 
York, and bought about 5,000 acres of land near Buffalo. 
Within the next two years they were joined by no less than 
600 of their brethren from Germany, and settling on the land 
purchased by Metz, they formed the community Eben-Ezer. 

Like the Zoarites, they did not contemplate, when they 
first emigrated, the establishment of a communistic settle- 
ment. But among their members there were some who were 
accustomed to factory labor, and to whom agricultural life 
was distasteful. In order to retain these members, it was 
necessary to build workshops and factories on their land, 
and this could only be accomplished by their common efforts 
and means. 

" We were commanded at this time by inspiration," relates 
one of their members, "to put all our means together and 
live in community, and we soon saw that we could not have 
got on or kept together on anyother plan." * 

Their membership increased rapidly, and they soon found 
that their land was not sufficient for the requirements of 
their growing community. 

* Quoted in Nordhoff's "Communistic Societies." 


Under the circumstances it is not to be wondered at that 
they were "commanded by inspiration to remove to lihe 

In 1855 they purchased about 20,000 acres of land near 
Davenport, in the State of Iowa, and there established the 
Amana Society, which is still in existence and flourishing,, 
having more than doubled its original population. The 
community at present consists of seven separate villages^ 
with a total of about 1,800 inhabitants.* 

The names of the villages are Amana, East Amana, 
Middle Amana, Amana near the Hill, West Amana, South 
Amana, and Homestead. They lie about a mile and a half 
apart, and each has its separate schoolhouse, store, tavern, 
shops, and factories Each village manages its own affairs 
and keeps its own accounts, but the latter are sent in annu- 
ally to the headquarters at Amana for verification. The 
foremen and elders of the village meet every day in consul- 
tation, lay out the work for the next day, and assign th€ 
members to the various branches of the work according to 
the requirements of the season. The central government of. 
the community is vested in thirteen trustees elected annu- 
ally by the vote of all male members. The trustees elect 
a president. 

Each family lives in a separate house. But they "have 
common dining-halls, usually several in each village, where 
the men and women eat at different tables, to " prevent silly 
conversation and trifling conduct." 

To supply them with clothing, an allowance is made to 
every member of the community; the adult man receives 
from $\Q to ;^ 1 00 per year, according as his position and oc- 
cupation necessitates more or less clothing ; for each adult 
female the allowances are from $2^, to 1^30 a year, and for 
children from ^5 to ^10. 

The village store contains all goods used by the Amanites,. 

• "Amana, a Study of Religious Communism," by Richard T. Ely, 
in Harper's Monthly for October, 1902. 


and the members may take what they please, being charged 
with the price of the article until the limit of the allowance 
has been reached. If a balance remains in favor of a mem- 
ber, it is carried over to his credit for the next year. 

In their schools they pay equal attention to the ordinary 
branches of elementary education and to manual training. 
Children from the age of seven to fourteen attend school dur- 
ing the entire year ; from fourteen to twenty, during the win- 
ter season only. They dress and live plainly but substantially, " 
and enjoy five hearty meals a day. They are very easy-go- 
ing in their work, and in harvest time they employ much 
hired help. 

They do not prohibit marriage, but neither do they en- 
courage it, and it is recorded that they even once expelled 
from the society their great divine " instrument," Barbara 
Heynemann, " for having too kind an eye on the young men." 

Marriage is only permitted on the consent of the trustees 
and after the groom has attained the age of twenty-four. 
Their weddings are very gloomy ceremonies, and somewhat 
resemble their funeral services. 


The village of Bethel, in Shelby County, Missouri, and 
that of Aurora, near Portland, Oregon, were sister commu- 
nities, both owing their existence to Dr. Keil. Keil had a 
rather variegated career. Born in Prussia in 1 812, he car- 
ried on the trade of man-milliner until he emigrated to the 
United States. After a brief stay in New York, he landed 
in Pittsburg, where he held himself out as a physician, prac- 
tised "magnetic cures," and professed to be the possessor of 
a wonderful book of prescriptions written with human blood. 
At the age of thirty he underwent a sudden change : he be- 
came religious, burned his book, and joined the Methodist 
Church, which, however, he soon abandoned, forming a sect 
of his own. 


He gathered around him a considerable following of 
simple-minded people, mostly Germans and "Pennsylvania 
Dutch," and in 1844 he was joined by a number of the se- 
ceders from Economy who had been abandoned by the faith- 
less " Count de Leon." 

It was at that time that Keil and his followers conceived 
the idea of establishing a communistic settlement, and for 
that purpose purchased about 2,500 acres of land in Shelby 
County, Missouri. This was the beginning of Bethel. The 
settlers seem to have had very little means, but an inexhaus- 
tible store of industry and endurance. After a few years, 
the greater portion of their land was under cultivation ; they 
built a woolen mill, grist-mill, sawmill, several shops, a 
church, and a general store. They added over 1,500 acres 
to their possessions, a post-office was established for them 
by the Government, and within ten years their settlement 
developed into a town with a population of about 650 per- 

But the restless spirit of Keil impelled him to new experi- 
ments. In 1855 we find him at the head of about eighty set- 
tlers from Bethel on the way to the Pacific coast in quest of 
cheap and fertile land. During the next year he organized the 
community of Aurora in Oregon. The membership of the 
new settlement, partly recruited from the outside and partly 
augmented by emigration from Bethel, soon reached about 
400. They acquired over 1 8,000 acres of land in different 
counties of Oregon, duplicated almost all of the industries 
carried on in Bethel, and in addition engaged largely in the 
growing and drying of fruit. 

The form of government and mode of life of both commu- 
nities was almost identical. Keil was president of both, and 
was assisted in the administration of each village by a board 
of trustees. Up to 1872 all property in Bethel and Aurora 
stood in the individual name of Dr. Keil, but in that year he 
divided the land, and gave to each adult member a title-deed 
of one parcel. But the partition was a mere formality, and 


tb&managemewtQf thA villages, remained puirejy QQuirQMpis- 
tic as before. 

Their members were allowed to choose their own occupa- 
tions, and to change them at will. They had no regular 
hours of work, nor any actual supervision, their foremen and 
superintendents being developed by a process of natural se- 

They not only tolerated, but. encouraged marriage, and 
maintained a strict family life. 

Each family had a separate house, and received a number 
of pigs and cows sufficient for its needs. Flour and c(ther 
articles of food were furnished by the community/in any 
quantity desired, and clothing and other goods coiitained in 
the general store were delivered to the members on request. 
They kept accounts of their dealings with outsiders, but had 
no records of the transactions between the community and 

Their existence was exceedingly peaceful and their history 
is not marked by any stirring or exciting events. They had 
but few accessions from the outside, but managed to keep 
their own members pretty well. Once in a while a member 
would express his desire to leave them, and to such, they 
would give his equitable share in property or cash, and allow 
him to depart. 

Of all religious communities, Bethel and Aurora had the 
loosest form of organization ; they were held together prin- 
cipally by the personal influence of their founder, and disinr 
tegrated soon after his death Dr. Keil died in 1877, Bethel 
dissolved in 1880, and Aurora in 1881. 


The first historian of communism in the United States 
was himself the founder of one of the most noteworthy com- 
munistic societies. The Oneida Community was the qreaJtion 
of John Humphrey Noyes. 


Noyes was born in Battleboi-o, Vt., in 1811. He gradu- 
ated from Dartmouth College and took up the study of law, 
but soon turned to theology, taking courses at Andover tad 
lifalfe. During his theological studies he evolved the set of 
religious doctrines which later Teceived the name of Periete- 

In 1834 he returned to Putney, Vt., the residence of his 
parents, and gradually gathered around him a little circle of 
followers. His first permanent adherents were his mother, 
two sisters, and a brother; then came the wives of himself 
and his brother and the husbands of his sisters; then came 
several others, until in 1847 he numbered about forty fol- 

The movement was at first purely religious, and the Per- 
fectionists had no sympathy for socialism. But the evolu- 
tion of their religious doctrines, coupled with the reading of 
the Harbinger and other Fourieristic publications, gradu- 
ally led them to communism, and in 1848 they established a 
communistic settlement at Gneida, in the State of New York. 

During the first years of the experiment they had to cope 
with great difficulties, and succeeded but poorly. Noyes 
and his followers, most of whom seem to have been men of 
means, had invested in the enterprise up to January i, 1857, 
over ^107,000, and the first inventory of the community 
taken on that day showed a total of assets amounting to 
little over $67,000, a clear loss of about $40jOOO. 

But during thstt time they had gained va.luable experience, 
and had organized their industries on an efficient and profit- 
able basis. They manufactured steel traps, traveling bags 
and satchels, put up preserved fruit, and engaged in the 
manufacture of silk. Whatever they undertook, they did 
carefully and thoroughly, and their goods soon acquired a 
hfgh reputation in the market. 

Their inventory for the year 1857, for the first time, 
Showed a small net profit, but during the ten years follow- 
ing, their profit exceeded the sum of $i8o,oeo. 


In the mean time they bought more land and gained new 
members, and in 1874 they owned about 900 acres of land 
and their membership consisted of about 300 persons. 

They had several communities originally, but by 1857 
they concentrated all their members in Oneida and Wal- 
lingford. Conn. 

The Oneida Community was the only important sectarian 
community of purely American origin. The bulk of the 
members consisted of New England farmers and mechanics, 
but they also had among them a large number of profes- 
sional men — physicians, lawyers, clergymen, teachers, etc. — 
and their standard of culture and education was considerably 
above the average. 

Their affairs were administered by twenty-one standing 
committees, and they had forty-eight heads of various indus- 
trial departments. But notwithstanding the apparent com- 
plexity of the system, their government was purely demo- 
cratic and worked well. 

The most striking features of the Perfectionists were their 
religious doctrines, their views on marriage, their literature, 
and the institution of " mutual criticism." 

They held that the second advent of Christ took place at 
the period of the destruction of Jerusalem, and that at that 
time there was a primary resurrection and judgment in the 
spirit world ; that the final kingdom of God then began in 
the heavens, and that the manifestation of that kingdom in 
the visible world is now approaching ; that a church on earth 
is rising to meet the approaching kingdom in the heavens ; 
that the element of connection between these two churches 
is inspiration or communion with God, which leads to per- 
fect holiness — complete salvation from sin — hence their 
name of Perfectionists. 

The following definition of Perfectionism is quoted by 
Nordhoff as coming from one of the believers : 

" As the doctrine of temperance is total abstinence from 
alcoholic drinks, and the doctrine of antislavery is imme- 


diate abolition of human bondage, so the doctrine of Perfec- 
tionism is immediate and total cessation of sin." 

Their communistic theories extended to persons as well 
as to property, and they rejected monogamous marriage 
just as vigorously as they rejected individual ownership of 

Their marriage system was a combination of polygamy 
and polyandry. Within the limits of the community all men 
were considered the husbands of all women, and cohabited 
with each other promiscuously. The members were, how- 
ever, not obliged to receive the attention of those they did 
not like. 

They pretended to conduct the propagation of children on 
a scientific basis, preferably pairing the young of one sex 
with the aged of the other. This system they styled the 
" complex marriage " system. 

They strongly resented the charge of licentiousness, and 
exacted " holiness of heart " before permitting " liberty of 

The children were left in the custody of their mothers 
until they were weaned, when they were placed in the gen- 
eral nursery under the care of special nurses, and outside 
observers attested that they were a healthy-looking, merry 
set of children. 

They maintained an excellent system of schools, and 
sent many of their young men to college to fit them for 
such professional callings as they needed within the com- 

For the propaganda of their ideas, they published a num- 
ber of books and periodicals, the most popular among which 
was the Oneida Circular. This was a weekly magazine, 
gotten up in excellent style, and was published on these 
singular terms, printed at the head of its columns : 

" The Circular is sent to all applicants, whether they pay 
or not. It costs and is worth at least two dollars per vol- 
ume. Those who want it and ought to have it are divisible 


into three classes, viz. : i, those who can not afford to pay 
two dollars; 2, those who can afford to pay only two dollars; 
and 3, those who can afford and pay more than two dollars. 
The first ought to have it free; the second ought to pay the 
cost of it; and the third ought to pay enough more than the 
cost to make up the deficiencies of the first. This is the law 
of Communism." 

" Mutual Criticism " was said to have been invented by 
Noyes in his college days, and became a most important 
institution in the Oneida Community from the very begin- 
ning of its existence. It took the place of trials and punish- 
ments, and was regarded by the Perfectionists not only as a 
potent corrective of all moral delinquencies, but also as a 
cure for a number of physical ailments. 

Criticism was administered in some cases without the 
solicitation of the subject, but more often on his own re- 
quest. The member would sometimes be criticized by the 
entire society, and sometimes by a committee selected from 
among those best acquainted with him. 

Plainly speaking, the procedure consisted in each member 
of the committee giving to the subject criticized a piece of 
'his or her mind — a pretty large one as a rule — and the salu- 
tary effect of this " mutual criticism " was supposed to show 
itself in revealing and thereby curing the hidden vices of 
the subject. 

Nordhoff, who had the good fortune of attending one of 
such criticisms, gives an amusing account of it, which we 
reproduce in substance. 

On one Sunday afternoon a young man, whom we will 
call Charles, offered himself for criticism. A criticizing 
committee of fifteen, Mr. Noyes among them, assembled in 
a room, and the procedure commenced by Mr. Noyes inquir- 
ing whether Charles had anything to say. Charles said that 
'he had recently been troubled by doubts, that his faith was 
weakening, and that he was having a hard struggle to com- 
bat the evil spirit within him. Thereupon the men and wo- 


men present spoke up in turn. One man remarked that 
Charles had been spoiled by his good fortune, that he was 
somewhat conceited ; another added that Charles had no re- 
gard for social proprieties, that he had recently heard him 
condemn a beefsteak as tough, and that he was getting into 
the habit of using slang. Then the women took a hand in 
the criticism, one remarking that Charles was haughty and 
supercilious, another adding that he was a " respecter of per- 
sons," and that he showed his liking for certain individuals 
too plainly, calling them pet names before the people, and 
a third criticizing his table manners. And as the criticism 
progressed the charges accumulated. Charles was declared 
to have manifested signs of irreligiousness and insincerity, 
and a general hope was expressed that he would come to 
see the error of his ways and would reform. -During this 
ordeal, which lasted over half an hour, Charles sat speech- 
less, but as the accusations multiplied, his face grew paler 
and big drops of perspiration stood on his forehead. The 
criticisms of his comrades had evidently made a strong 
impression on the young man. 

These frank talks seem not to have provoked any ill-feel- 
ing among the members. The history of the Oneida Com- 
munity discloses no discords of any kind ; perfect harmony 
reigned at all times, and only one member was ever expelled 
by them. 

The community existed and thrived over thirty years, but 
public opinion, aroused by the clergy of the neighborhood, 
finally became so pronounced against the "complex mar- 
riage " system, that the Perfectionists deemed it advisable 
to abandon that feature. 

This was the signal for the dissolution of the Oneida 
Community as a communistic society. Noyes himself, ac- 
companied by a few faithful followers, removed to Canada, 
where he died in 1886, and the remainder of the community 
incorporated in 1880 as a joint stock company under the 
name of " Oneida Community, Limited." 


The company is now worth about a million dollars. The 
former industries of the community have all been preserved. 
The interests of the members in the property of the corpora- 
tion are represented by the stock held by them, and the 
common library, reading-room, laundry, and lawns are the 
only cooperative features retained by them. 


The Owenite Period 



The social experiments and teachings of Robert Owen 
have played an important part in the early history of Ameri- 
can Socialism, and a brief sketch of his life and theories are 
essential for the proper understanding of that period of the 

Robert Owen was born on the 14th day of May, 1 771, in 
the Scotch village of Newtown, as the seventh child of re- 
spectable but impoverished parents. 

He received a rather fragmentary public-school education, 
and at the early age of eleven years he was apprenticed to a 
London merchant. Already then the boy exhibited in a 
marked degree those qualities which in later life made him 
a leading man in two continents : an extraordinary organiz- 
ing talent, untiring industry, and a keen analytical mind, 
combined with broad sympathies, excellent judgment of 
human nature, courage, and withal a uniformly courteous 

His business career was one of phenomenal success. 
Within a few years he advanced from a subordinate clerk- 
ship in the store of a London merchant to a very responsible 
position with a leading Manchester trading-house. 

At the age of nineteen years he was engaged by one 
Drinkwater to superintend his spinning-mill at Manchester, 
in which about 500 workingmen were employed, and the 
manner in which he terminated the employment is very 
characteristic of the man. 

Mr. Drinkwater, after a brief trial, had agreed in writing 
to employ Owen for three years, and to make bim a partner 
in his business after the expiration of that time. 



In the meanwhile, however, the Manchester mill-owner 
was offered very advantageous terms of partnership by a 
wealthy and influential merchant. Owen's outstanding agree, 
ment was the only obstacle to the arrangement, and Mr. 
Drinkwater determined to get rid of it at any cost. He 
invited Owen to his office, and explaining the situation to 
the young superintendent, he asked upon what terms he 
would release him from the agreement, and offered him a 
position under the new management at any salary he might 
name. Owen, who had anticipated the purpose of the inter- 
view, and had come armed with his written contract, promptly 
committed it to the flames, and, quietly watching the precious 
document reducing itself to ashes, he remarked that he had 
no desire to be in partnership with people who did not want 
him, and that he could not remain in the employ of Mr. 
Drinkwater on any terms. 

Shortly after this episode he acquired an interest in the 
Charlton Twist Company, which became very prosperous 
through his efforts. 

During all his business preoccupations, however, Owen**, 
did not neglect the study of social phenomena, and at the 
period at which we have now arrived he was already imbued 
with the conviction which subsequently guided all his actions, 
and in fact determined his entire course of life — the convic- 
tion that man is the creature of surrounding circumstances, 
that his character is not made by him, but for him. 

" Man becomes a wild, ferocious savage, a cannibal, or a 
highly civilized and benevolent being according to the cir- 
cumstances in which he may be placed from his birth," he 
reasoned, and the logical conclusion from this process of 
reasoning was that the only way of raising the character 
and habits of men is by improving the conditions under 
which they live. 

He commenced a test of a practical application of this 
theory in his treatment of the 500 Manchester operatives 
consigned to his care, but the abrupt discontinuance of his 


connections with Mr. Drinkwater checked the experiment 
before it could show positive results. 

Owen now yearned for a larger field of activity, and in 
the beginning of 1800 he found such in the Scotch village 
of New Lanark. 

The New Lanark works had been founded in 1784 on the 
falls of the Clyde by Mr. David Dale and Sir Richard Ark- 
wright, the famous inventor. 

In 1799 the village consisted of about 2,500 mill-hands 
with their families, and Mr. Dale was its sole proprietor. 
The village presented the typical aspect of a manufacturing 
settlement of that time. About 500 of the employees were 
children recruited from the charitable institutions of Edin- 
burgh, and were fed and housed in a large barrack erected for 
that purpose. They were sent to the mill not infrequently at 
the age of six years, their working hours lasted from six in 
the morning until seven in the evening, and those of them 
who survived naturally grew up to be dwarfed and deformed, 
physically, mentally, and morally. The work was so hard, 
and the pay so small, that none but the lowest stratum of 
adult workingmen would take employment at the mills. The 
village was dirty and the population given to brutality, drunk- 
enness, thievery, and sexual excesses, and was deep in debt 
to the petty village usurer, the tavern-keeper, and store- 

Such was New Lanark when Owen, with some business 
associates, purchased from Mr. Dale the mills, village and 
all, for sixty thousand pounds. 

As resident manager, Owen had the power to introduce 
such reforms as he thought proper, and he immediately 
undertook the gigantic task of remodeling the village. 
One of his first acts was to banish the village storekeepers 
' who had been in the habit of selling to the operatives inferior 
articles for excessive prices, and to establish instead superior 
shops, where all commodities were retailed at cost. The gin- 
mills and taverns were removed to the outskirts of the vil- 


lage, the streets were cleaned, and comfortable dwelling- 
houses were substituted for the old hovels. 

He determined to receive no more pauper children, and 
discontinued the parish agreements made by Mr. Dale. 

For the children of his employees he established a model 
infant school, and facilities for education were provided for 
all inhabitants of New Lanark. 

True to his theory, he abolished all systems of punish- 
ment of delinquent workmen, seeking to correct their short- 
comings by kind admonition, and to crown all, he voluntarily 
reduced their hours of labor and increased their pay. 

Every step of these reforms was attended with difficulties ; 
the superintendents of the different branches of the work 
regarded him as a dangerous eccentric and blocked his 
schemes wherever possible, and what was worse, the work- 
ingmen were by no means friendly to his reforms : years 
of pitiless exploitation had made them distrustful, and they 
suspected some hostile design behind each of Owen's new 

In 1806 a crisis set in in the English cotton industry in 
consequence of an embargo laid by the United States upon 
the export of the raw material. The operations of all cotton- 
mills of the United Kingdom were stopped, and the thou- 
sands of working men thus thrown out of employment were 
facing starvation. 

Owen retained all of his employees, and altho no work 
was done for four months after, he paid them their full 
wages, amounting to about seven thousand pounds. 

This generous act finally convinced the mill-hands of the 
sincerity of Owen's purpose. Henceforward they had full 
confidence in their employer, and heartily cooperated with 
him in all his measures of reform. 

But another obstacle arose. So long as the reforms in- 
troduced by Owen did not threaten to diminish the profits 
of the business, his partners did not interfere with him, but 
when he proposed some new innovations involving the 


building and maintenance of an expensive school and nur- 
sery, they rebelled, and pointedly declared that they had 
associated with him in business, not in philanthropy. 

On account of these dissensions, Owen had to change 
partners twice, and in 1813 he was in danger of being alto- 
gether ousted from the management of New Lanark by the 
majority shareholders of the concern. 

But the resourceful philanthropist-manufacturer was equal 
to the occasion. He prepared a sketch of the works of New 
Lanark, of his humanitarian plans in connection with the 
works, and of his difficulties with his partners. This he 
published in a limited number for private circulation among 
well-disposed capitalists, and within a short time seven men 
of wealth, including the famous jurist, Jeremy Bentham, 
expressed their willingness to invest large sums of money in 
the New Lanark works, on the understanding that all profits 
above five per cent, on their investments would be applied 
to philanthropic uses. 

With the funds thus secured, Owen bought out his part- 
ners, and now had an entirely free hand in the carrying out 
of his favorite reforms. Within a generation New Lanark 
became unrecognizable. The erstwhile miserable village, 
with a degenerate population, had become a model colony of 
healthy, bright, and happy men and women, and the object 
of admiration of the thousands of visitors who came to in- 
spect it every year. 

The fame of Owen's achievements spread to all civilized 
countries. Among his admirers he numbered sovereigns, 
princes, statesmen, and prominent men in all walks of life, 
and at one time he was one of the most popular persons in 

But Owen was not satisfied with the results achieved by 
him. The splendid results in New Lanark had deepened 
his conviction in the theory that man is the product of the 
conditions surrounding him, and he now arrived at the ulti- 
mate and logical deduction from that theory— that an equal 


degree of morality and happiness presupposes the equality 
of all material conditions of life. Owen had developed from 
a mere philanthropist to a full-fledged communist. 

This change of views brought with it a desire for the 
enlargement of his sphere of activity. New Lanark had 
become too narrow for him ; he longed to benefit the en- 
tire working class, and the remainder of his life was de- 
voted to the propaganda of his ideas in all conceivable 

He early recognized the importance of factory legislation, 
and drafted many measures for the relief and protection of 
factbry employees, some of which were passed by Parliament, 
owing to his efforts. 

In 1 817 Owen was invited by the "Committee of the 
Association for the Relief of the Manufacturing and Labour- 
ing Poor " to state his views on the cause of increasing 
pauperism and to propose measures of relief. In his report 
to the committee he{Heveloped the view that under a system 
of free competition the increase of productivity of labor 
inevitably leads to the deterioration of the condition of the 
working class. The introduction of improved machinery 
throws thousands of working men out of employment, thus 
engendering a desperate competition for the mere means of 
subsistence, which lowers the standard of the workingman's 
life still morej No temporary measures can check this 
deplorable but necessary concomitant of industrial develop- 

As a solution of the problem, Owen proposed the estab- 
lishment of industrial communities on the basis of mutual 
cooperation. The communities were to consist of 500 to 
1,500 persons, who would themselves produce all the neces- 
saries of life. The members were to live in large houses sur- 
rounded by gardens, industry was to be conducted on a large 
scale by the men, while the women did the housework and 
tended to the education of the children. 

The plan was rejected by the committee as too radical. 


but, nothing daunted, Owen continued his propaganda at 
public meetings and by private agitation 

Like the true Utopian that he was, he addressed himself 
to the spirit of benevolence of the wealthy and powerful, and 
even submitted his plans to Czar Nicholas of Russia, and to 
the Congress of Sovereigns at Aachen in 181 8, of course 
with no better success than what he met with at the hands 
of the committee. 

Owen now determined to undertake the experiment with 
his own resources, and was eagerly watching for a favorable 
opportunity. When he learned in 1824 that the Rappist 
settlement in Indiana was for sale, his mind was soon made 
up. He purchased the settlement with everything on it, 
and sailed for America to superintend the experiment in 

The varied fortunes of the communities founded by Owen 
and his followers in the United States are described sepa- 
rately in the following pages. 

These experiments have attracted so much public atten- 
tion, that the other side of Owen's activity in this country, 
his personal propaganda for the theories of Communism, is 
but too often being entirely overlooked. And still that 
propaganda had a powerful influence on many of his con- 

Upon his first arrival in the United States he exhibited 
elaborate models of his proposed communities, and delivered 
addresses on his favorite topics in many large American 
cities, and found numerous attentive listeners among the 
most intelligent classes of citizens. 

At Washington he delivered several lectures in the Hall 
of Representatives before the President, the President-elect, 
all the judges of the United States Supreme Court, and a 
great number of Senators and Congressmen. 

After the failure of New Harmony, Owen paid three more 
visits to the United States, and each of these visits was 
devoted to the propaganda of Socialism. In 1845 he called 


an international socialist convention to be held in New York, 
but the convention turned out to be a rather insignificant 
affair. In 1846 we find him in Albany explaining to the 
Constitutional Convention of New York his theory on the 
formation of human character. 

Several Owenite communities were likewise founded in 
the twenties and thirties of the last century, in different 
parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with no more suc- 
cess than those in America. 

But the failures of his communistic experiments did not 
discourage the indomitable reformer, and in 1832 we find 
him enthusiastically engaged in a new enterprise, the " Equi- 
table Banks of Labor Exchange" " The quantity of average 
human labor contained in a commodity determines the value 
of such commodity," declared Owen, "hence, if all com- 
modities be valued and e:!ichanged by the producer accord- 
ing to that standard, the capitalist will have no room in 
industry or commerce, or the worker will retain the full 
product of his labor." 

To carry this idea into operation, the " Equitable Labor 
Exchange Bank " was founded in London on the following 
plan: Every producer of a useful article might bring the 
same to the " bazaar " connected with the bank, and receive 
for it notes issued by the bank and representing a number 
of labor hours equivalent to those contained in his article. 
With these notes the holder could purchase other articles 
contained in the bazaar and likewise valued according to the 
quantity of labor consumed by its production. 

The weak point of the scheme was, that the bank occu- 
pied itself exclusively with the exchange of commodities, 
and did not even attempt to regulate their production. Any- 
thing brought to the bazaar was accepted regardless of the 
actual demand for it. The result was, that after a short 
time all useful articles disappeared from circulation, and 
the bazaars were stocked with goods for which there was no 


The " Equitable Labor Exchange Bank " suspended busi- 
ness, and its founder lost a fortune. 

Owen was past sixty at that time, but he still continued 
his activity in behalf of the working class for many years. 

Under his influence the " Association of all Classes and 
Nations " was organized, an association which at one time 
exercised a powerful influence in English politics, and whose 
members called themselves "Sociahsts" since 1839. He 
also presided at the first national convention of English 

Owen died on the 17th day of November, 1858. He had ^ 
reached the rare age of eighty-seven years, and few lives had 
been so eventful and useful as his. His failures were many, 
but his achievements were more ; he was the first to intro- 
duce the infant-school system, he was the father of factory 
legislation, one of the first advocates of cooperative associa- 
tions, and he anticipated many of the theories and features 
of the modern socialist movement. y^ 

Owen left four sons, all of whom became American citi- 
zens. They all achieved renown in their chosen occupation. 
Robert Dale Owen was at one time the foremost exponent 
of his father's theories in this country. In conjunction with 
Frances Wright he published, toward the end of the twen- 
ties of the last century, a magazine under the title Free 
Ettquirer, and conducted a " Hall of Science " in New York, 
in which lectures were delivered on all topics of social 
reform. In sympathy with Robert Dale Owen and Frances 
Wright were also the two brothers, George Henry and 
Frederick W. Evans, two young Englishmen, who landed in 
New York in 1820. They published successively the Work- 
ing Tnari s Advocate, the Daily Sentinel and Young America, 
and of these publications the last mentioned at one time en- 
joyed considerable popularity. Young America printed at 
its head twelve demands, of which the ninth, " Equal rights 
for women with men in all respects," and the tenth, " Aboli- 
tion of chattel slavery and of wages slavery," are par- 


ticularly interesting to-day. These demands- were said to 
have been indorsed by no less than 600 papers in different 
parts of the United States, and eventually gave rise to the 
formation of a political Working Men's Party in the State of 
New York. The Working Men's Party held a state conven- 
tion in Syracuse in 1830, and nominated Ezekiel Williams 
for Governor. Williams received a little less than 3,000 
votes in the State, but in the City of New York, where the 
Working Men's Party had fused with the Whigs, it suc- 
ceeded in electing four of its candidates, Silas M. Stilwell, 
Gideon Tucker, Ebenezer Ford, and George Curtis, to the 
Legislature. The Working Men's Party was the last mani- 
festation in the labor movement of this country directly 
attributable to the influence of Owenism. It maintained its 
independent existence a short time, and was soon absorbed 
by the " Locofoco " movement. 

Robert Dale Owen devoted much of the remainder of his 
hfe to politics. He was twice elected to Congress, and 
drafted the act under which the Smithsonian Institution in 
Washington was established. As a member of the Indiana 
Constitutional Convention he was chiefly instrumental in 
the enactment of the liberal provisions for woman's rights 
and the introduction of the free-school system in that State. 
He was for six years chargi d' affaires of this country at 
Naples, and was in his days one of the ablest and noblest 
figures in national politics. His letter to President Lincoln 
is said to have been a potent factor in bringing about the 
President's proclamation abolishing chattel slavery. To- 
ward the end of his life he, like his father, turned to spir- 
itualism. He died in 1877. 

George Henry Evans remained active in the field of social 
reforms until his death in 1 870, and Frederick W. Evans 
joined the Shakers in 1831, and became the leading man of 
the Mount Lebanon Community, where he was popularly 
known as Elder Frederick. 



The scene of the first Owenite experiment on American 
soil was a tract of land on the Wabash River in the State 
of Indiana. It consisted of about 30,000 acres, all of which 
was wilderness until 1814, when the Rappists made it their 
home. The marvelous industry and excellent taste of the 
sectarian communists within a few years converted the des- 
ert into a flourishing settlement. 

In 1825 "Harmony" (or " Harmonie," as the Rappists 
named their community) was a regularly laid-out village, 
with streets running at right angles to each other, a public 
square, several large brick buildings, and numerous dwell- 
ing-houses, mills, and factories. Owen acquired it all for the 
sum of $150,000, 

No communistic experiment was ever undertaken under 
more favorable auspices : the Owenite settlers found ready 
homes, about 3,000 acres of cultivated land, nineteen de- 
tached farms, and a number of fine orchards and vines, all in 
excellent condition. The hardships usually attending the" 
first years of pioneer life of every community had been suc- 
cessfully overcome by their predecessors, and no debt was 
weighing on the property. 

Associated with Owen in the enterprise was William 
Maclure, of Philadelphia, a man of considerable wealth, a 
scientist and philanthropist. Mr. Maclure was the most 
eminent American geologist of his time, and was known as 
" The Father of American Geology " ; he was also the princi- 
pal founder of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, 
and, for almost a quarter of a century, the president of that 
institution. Besides his scientific pursuits, Maclure was 
especially interested in educational problems. He was the 
first to introduce the system of Pestalozzi in the United 
States, and was one of the earliest advocates of industrial 
education. Mr. Maclure was to have charge of the schools 


and institutions for learning in New Harmony, and he brought 
with him quite a coterie of eminent scientists and educators. 
Among the former were Thomas Say, the greatest Ameri- 
can zoologist of his time; Charles Alexander Lesneur, a 
famous ichthyologist and a painter of talent ; and Dr. Gerard 
Troost, who subsequently became professor of geology in the 
Nashville University. Among the professional educators 
were Professor Neef, who had been associated with Pesta- 
lozzi in his school in Switzerland ; Madame Marie D. Fro- 
tageot, and Phiquepal d'Arusmout, also Pestalozzian teach- 
ers.* Frances Wright also took an active interest in the 
founding of New Harmony, and so did all of the four sons of 
Robert Owen. 

No wonder then that the future of the community appeared 
bright and promising to Owen. He confidently predicted 
that the truth of his principles and the blessings of com- 
munism would in the near future manifest themselves in the 
new colony, and spread " from Community to Community, 
from State to State, from Continent to Continent, finally 
overshadowing the whole earth, shedding light, fragrance 
and abundance, intelligence and happiness upon the sons of 
men," and with his characteristic - enthusiasm and broadness 
he invited " the industrious and well-disposed of all nations " 
to come to New Harmony, as he rechristened the settlement. 

And they came in flocks, the men of all nations, well- 
disposed or otherwise; in fact, no less than 800 persons 
responded to Owen's call within the short space of the 
first six weeks, and a hundred more joined soon after. It 
was the most motley and incongruous crowd that ever assem- 
bled for a joint enterprise: there were, undoubtedly, among 
them men and women actuated by pure and noble motives, 
and who joined the movement with the sincere purpose of 
contributing by their efforts to the success of the commu- 

* For particulars of that interesting phase of Owen's social experi- 
ment, see "The New Harmony Communities," by George Browning 
Lockwood, Marion, Ind., 1902. 


nistic enterprise, but there were also those who had abso- 
lutely no understanding or sympathies for Owen's ideals, 
who looked upon his enterprise as the act of a wealthy 
eccentric, and sought to take advantage of his generosity as 
long as it lasted. There were men and women of all classes 
and vocations, habits and notions, professionals, mechanics, 
laborers, idlers, and adventurers. 

No test of qualification was imposed on them, no inquiry 
as to their motives was made, and this indiscriminate admis- 
sion of members at the very outset impressed the commu- 
nity with a stamp of disharmony and shiftlessness which 
finally caused its downfall. 

During the two years of its existence as a community, 
New Harmony had no less than seven different forms of 
government or " constitutions." 

It was not Owen's original intention to start the colony 
on a purely communistic basis. " Men brought up in an 
irrational system of society," he argued, " can not change to 
a rational system without some preparation." His first con- 
stitution accordingly provided that the settlers were to be 
held on probationary training for three years, under the 
control of a "Preliminary Committee," and only after a suc- 
cessful service of the probationary period were they to be 
admitted to full membership. 

The period of three years seems, however, to have 
appeared too long for the New Harmonites, for, in January, 
1826, we find them adopting a new constitution, by which 
the colony was reorganized on the basis of complete com- 
munism, with a general assembly as the chief authority and 
a council of six as its executive organ. 

But the new plan of organization somehow did not work, 
and the members unanimously called on Owen to assume 
the dictatorship of the community. Under this new form of 
government, the third since its existence, the settlement 
seemed on a fair road to success. Some order was intro- 
duced into the general chaos; the idlers disappeared, and 


the shops and farms presented a scene of unwonted in- 

But in April, 1826, some members, tired of the steady and 
systematic work, demanded a division of the villages into 
several independent communities. To this Owen would not 
agree, but, as a result of the ensuing discussion, he presented 
the community with a fourth constitution. This divided 
the members into three grades — "conditional members," 
"probationary members," and "persons on trial," and pro- 
vided for a " nucleus " of twenty-five selected members, who 
had the exclusive right to admit new applicants. 

Owen retained the power to veto any new member, and 
was to continue the sole head of the community for one year 
and so long thereafter as at least one-third of the members 
should think the community unfit to govern itself. 

But the clamor for a division of the community was not 
stifled, and by the end of May, Owen, yielding to the general , 
demand, agreed to form four separate communities from the 
members of New Harmony, each having an independent 

This was the fifth constitution of New Harmony, and barely 
three months later the settlers adopted a sixth constitution, 
abolishing all officers, and appointing in their place a com- 
mittee of three, invested with dictatorial powers. 

The seventh and last constitution was adopted by the 
members of all colonies of New Harmony at a joint meeting 
held September 17, 1826. By this constitution the entire 
administration was placed in the hands of Owen and four 
other members to be appointed by him every year. 

But the extraordinary mutability of its form of government 
did not save New Harmony from internal dissensions and 
splits. "Religion," records Sargant,* Owen's biographer, 
" was the earliest topic of disagreement, and the evil seems 
to have been aggravated by visits from itinerant preachers, 

*" Robert Owen and His Social Philosophy," by William Lucas 


whose interference, however, was checked in a characteristic 
manner. It was professed that free discussion on religion, 
and every kind of teaching, was tolerated and even sought; 
and, therefore, all ministers who came for the avowed pur- 
pose of preaching publicly were entertained at the tavern 
free of expense : but with this unusual condition, that at the 
conclusion of a sermon any one of the congregation might 
ask whatever questions he pleased. This catechising was 
so little liked by the subjects of it that, during many months, 
no preacher visited New Harmony." 

But apparently the disappearance of itinerant preachers 
did not wholly cure the evil. 

Discussions on religion, and, together with it, on the most 
suitable form of government, continued to disturb the peace 
of the settlers, and at times assumed an alarming aspect. 

Every new outbreak of religious controversy and every 
change of the constitution was accompanied by the with- 
drawal of some disaffected members from the community, 
and two groups of members separated from the parent 
organization, forming independent settlements within the 
territory of New Harmony. 

One of them, the " Macluria," was named after William 
Maclure. The colony was settled by about 1 50 of the most 
conservative and orthodox members of New Harmony, and 
was chiefly concerned with the education of the young, pay- 
ing but insufficient attention to agricultural and industrial 

The other community was named " Feiba Peven," which 
name, for some mysterious reasons, was supposed to indi- 
cate the latitude and longitude of the place. Feiba Peven 
was settled principally by English farmers, who were said 
to be very skilful, but somewhat too fond of whisky. 

Both communities maintained rather friendly relations with 
New Harmony, and, as we have seen, rejoined it in adopting 
tlje seventh constitution. 

Considering the complexity of elements and general plan- 
• 5 


lessness of the community, it is not surprising that its life 
was of but short duration. 

At the beginning everything was bright and lovely. " Free 
education was provided for the children, the store supplied 
the settlers with all necessaries, and a respectable apothecary 
dispensed medicines without charge," narrates A. J. McDon- 
ald, the first chronicler of the experiment,* but the historian 
does not inform us whether the expense was covered from 
the earnings of the settlers, or, what seems to be more 
likely, from Owen's pocket. 

Shortly after the establishment of the community Owen 
went to England, leaving the new enterprise in charge of his 
young son William, and, upon his return in the early part of 
1826, he still found New Harmony in apparently excellent 
condition. On July 4th of that year, the fiftieth anniversary 
of the Declaration of Independence, Owen delivered an ad- 
dress to his followers, which has since become famous for 
its eloquence and boldness, and from which we quote the 
following passage : 

" I now declare to you and the world, that Man, up to 
this hour, has been, in all parts of the world, a slave to a 
Trinity of the most monstrous evils that could be combined 
to inflict mental and physical evil upon his whole race. I 
refer to Private or Individual Property, Absurd and Irra- 
tional systems of Religion, and Marriage founded on Indi- 
vidual Property and some of these Irrational Systems of 

The tone of his entire address is still very hopeful ; he 
still expects his community to become a powerful factor for 
the removal of his abhorred Trinity of Evils 

But a few months later we find him for the first time 
in a somewhat doubting and pondering mood. " Eighteen 
months' experience," he observes in his Gazette, "has proved 
to us that the requisite qualifications for a permanent mem- 
ber of the Community of Common Property are: i, Honesty 
•Quoted in Noyes's "History of American Socialisms." 


of purpose; 2, Temperance ; 3, Industry; 4, Carefulness; 5, 
Cleanliness ; 6, Desire for knowledge ; 7, A conviction of the 
fact that the character of man is formed for, and not by, him." 

The discovery came too late. The heterogeneous crowd 
gathered at New Harmony was already breaking up. 

Member after member left the community, and Owen was 
unable to stem the tide. 

A number of individuals banded themselves together 
into small communities, and to those Owen assigned parcels 
of land at the outskirts of New Harmony. The land was 
leased to them for a period of 10,000 years at a nominal 
annual rental of fifty cents per acre, and upon condition that 
the lease should terminate as soon as the land should be 
used for any but communistic purposes. These communities 
were short-lived. Within the village proper communism 
was altogether abandoned. Private stores and shops dis- 
placed communal industries, the gin-mill made its triumphant 
entry, and petty competition and close-fisted bargaining 
reigned in the place which Owen had hoped to make the 
starting-point of the brotherhood of all sons of men. 


Toward the end of 1824 Owen arrived in Cincinnati, and 
remained there a short time lecturing and exhibiting his plans 
for a model community. He made many converts to his , 
ideas, foremost among whom was Daniel Roe, the minister 
of the " New Jerusalem," or Swedenborgian Church. 

This church was composed of people of culture, refinement, 
and wealth, and many of them were so fascinated by Owen's 
glowing accounts of the blessings of community life that 
they resolved to try the experiment. 

About seventy-five or one hundred families organized for 
that purpose, and after careful consultation and selection, 
they purchased a domain at Yellow Springs, about seventy- 
five miles north of Cincinnati. 


The property was held by the purchasers in trust for all 
members of the community; schools were to be established 
with rational methods of instruction, public lectures were 
held, and dancing and music were cultivated. 

" For the first few weeks," records a member of the com- 
munity, " all entered into the new system with a will. Serv- 
ice was the order of the day. Men who seldom or never 
before labored with their hands, devoted themselves to agri- 
culture and the mechanical arts with a zeal that was at least 
commendable, though not always according to knowledge. 
Ministers of the Gospel guided the plow ; called the swine 
to their corn, instead of sinners to repentance. Merchants 
exchanged the yardstick for the rake and pitchfork. All 
appeared to labor cheerfully for the common weal. Among 
the women there was even more apparent self-sacrifice. 
Ladies who had seldom seen the inside of their own kitchens 
went into that of the common eating-house and made them- 
selves useful among pots and kettles; and refined young 
ladies who had all their lives been waited upon, took their 
turns in waiting upon others at the table." 

The members of the Yellow Springs Community, like 
those of Brook Farm, consisted chiefly of " chosen spirits " 
— there were but few farmers or laborers among them. 
Their movement was not undertaken for economic or mate- 
rial considerations, but for spiritual and intellectual motives. 
They regarded their venture somewhat in the nature of a 
prolonged picnic, and the charm continued just about half a 
year. By the end of that time the aristocratic communists 
sobered down. The ministers soon found the sinners more 
manageable . and interesting than the swine, the merchants 
found the pitchforks not half as remunerative as the yard- 
stick, and the refined ladies tired of the coarse company of 
pots and kettles. One by one they returned to their old 
homes and vocations, and Yellow Springs became a beauti- 
ful but faded dream in their memories. 



The most original, if not the most important, community 
of the Owenite cycle was Nashoba, founded in the fall of 
1825 by Frances Wright. 

The settlement comprised 2,000 acres of land on both 
sides of the Wolf River, about thirteen miles above Memphis, 
in the State of Tennessee. 

Frances Wright was one of the most striking figures of 
the Owen movement. Born in Scotland, she early acquired 
renown for her philanthropic works, strong intellect, and 
sympathies with all progressive movements of her time. 
She traveled extensively in the United States, especially 
in the South, where she made a study of the conditions of 
the negro. She also visited the Rappists, Shakers, and 
other sectarian communities, and was deeply impressed with 
their social theories and mode of life. She took a leading 
part in the early antislavery agitation, and was one of the 
first and most forcible advocates of woman's rights. 

Her chief purpose in establishing the Nashoba Commu- 
nity was to educate the negro slaves to social and economic 
equality with the whites. With that object in view, she pur- 
chased several negro families, and persuaded some planters 
to lend her a few of their slaves for the experiment. With 
these and a number of white persons of all vocations she 
started the community. 

Her plan was to establish model schools for the common 
use by the children of the, white and bla ck, to set the negroes 
to work on the settlement, usingjjne-Half of the proceeds of 
their labor for their maintenance and subsistence, and the 
other half for the creation of a fund to purchase their eman- 

The management of the community was to be in the 
hands of some philanthropists associated with the founder 
in the enterprise. The first few months of the experiment 


were quite satisfactory, and the results achieved under the 
intelligent and energetic superintendence of Frances Wright 
seemed very encouraging. But just when her personal pres- 
ence was most needed, Miss Wright fell sick, and was com- 
pelled to make a voyage to Europe for the recovery of her 

In December, 1826, she deeded the land, together with 
the slaves and personal property, to General Lafayette, 
William Maclure, Robert Owen, Robert Dale Owen,, C. 
Golden, R. Whitby, R. Jennings, G. Flower, J. Richardson, 
and Camilla Wright, "to be held by them, and their asso- 
ciates and successors, in perpetual trust for the benefit of 
the negro race." Undei'- the management of these trustees 
the community lasted a little over a year. The extraordi- 
nary task assumed by Miss Wright proved to be beyond the 
powers of her successors, and Miss Wright, who had in the 
meanwhile returned from Europe, was unable to arrest the 
steady process of disintegration. In March, 1828, the trus- 
tees of Nashoba announced that they had for the time being 
deferred the attempt to organize the community on a basis 
of cooperative labor, and that they merely claimed for it the 
title of " Preliminary Social Community." 

Three months later the entire experiment was abandoned. 
The slaves were given their freedom, and removed to Haiti. 

The Nashoba experiment was not the end of Frances 
Wright's activity. 

She continued to make propaganda for the cause of com- 
munism, antislavery, and woman's rights in the columns of 
the New Harmony Gazette and The Free Enquirer. 

At one time she also attracted much attention by the elo- 
quent public speeches on her favorite subjects, which she 
delivered in all the principal cities of the Union. 

She died at Cincinnati, Ohio, December 14, 1852, at the 
age of fifty-seven years. 



Of the remaining Owenite communities, one deserves spe- 
cial mention for the variety of its fortunes and the persist- 
ence of its members. . 

The community appears in the history of the Owenite 
period three times, at different places and under different 
names, but in reality it is but one enterprise, started at 
Haverstraw, N. Y., and wound up at Kendal, Ohio. 

The Haverstraw Community 

This community was formed in 1826 by one Fay, a New 
York lawyer, and several other New Yorkers and Philadel- 
phians of culture and means. 

They occupied one hundred and twenty acres of land at 
Haverstraw on the Hudson, about thirty miles from New 
York. The number of their members soon increased to 
eighty, and among them were many persons skilled in various 
trades and occupations, as well as some professional men, and 
the material condition of the colony was at all times prosper- 

The feature of the community was the establishment of a 
Church of Reason, which was attended by the members on 
Sundays, and in which lectures on Morals, Philosophy, and 
Science were delivered. These assemblies took the place 
of all religious ceremonies and observances. 

The community had a very short-lived career, and the 
cause of its failure is said to have been dishonest manage- 

After the breaking up of the Haverstraw Community, 
the majority of the members joined 


The Coxsackie Community 

This experiment was very similar to that of Haverstraw. 
The estate of Coxsackie was also situated in the State of 
New York, about seven miles from the Hudson River. It 
existed less than a year, and from what we can learn, the 
members spent most of that time in discussing proposed 

We meet many of the members again in 

The Kendal Community 

This community was located near Canton, Ohio. It was 
founded toward the close of 1826, and its begirming was 
very promising. 

The members, about 1 50 in number, consisted of farmers, 
mechanics, and also the inevitable " choice spirits." They 
conducted a woolen factory, erected a number of dwellings, 
and were engaged in the building of a large common hall, 
170 by 33 feet. 

They were animated by a spirit of harmony and concord, 
and they proclaimed triumphantly that the success of their 
social system had been demonstrated beyond contradiction. 

The following passage from a letter of John Hannon,* 
who was a member of the community, accounts for its sudden 

" Our Community progressed harmoniously and prosper- 
ously so long as the members had their health, and a hope 
of paying for their domain. But a summer fever attacked 
us, and seven heads of families died, among whom were 
several of our most valued and useful members. At the 
same time, the rich proprietors of whom we purchased our 
land urged us to pay ; and we could not sell a part of it and 
give a good title, because we were not incorporated. So we 
were compelled to give up and disperse, losing what we had 

•Quoted in Noyes's "History of American Socialisms." 


paid, which was about $7,000. But we formed friendships 
that were enduring, and the failure never for a moment 
weakened my faith in the value of Communism." 

Noyes mentions four more Owenite communities, two in 
Indiana, one in Pennsylvania, and one in New York. But 
they seem to have been insignificant and short-Uved, and 
their history is not known. 


The Fourierist Period 


Charles Fourier was born on the 7th day of February, 
1772, at Besangon, in France. 

At a very early age he showed a strong inclination for 
observation and study, his favorite topics being geography, 
astronomy, chemistry, and physics. 

As the son of a wealthy merchant, he was himself des- 
tined for a mercantile career. But the boy had no love for 
commerce. The practises and tricks of trade were repug- 
nant to his upright instincts ; he succeeded but poorly in the 
"noble art of lying, or the skill to sell," as he termed it, and, 
altho he changed several positions in his early youth, the 
verdict of his employers was invariably the same — "an 
honest young man, but not fit for business." At the age 
of eighteen, Fourier undertook an extended tour through 
France, Germany, Holland, and Belgium in the interests of 
his employers, and he took advantage of the opportunity to 
study the climate of these countries, the architecture of 
their principal cities, and, above all, the industries, social 
conditions, mode of life and character of their inhabitants. 

In 1 781 the elder Fourier died, leaving a fortune of about 
200,000 francs, of which Charles received two-fifths, and 
only after the death of the taciturn philosopher his friends 
learned that he had lost that inheritance during the siege of 
Lyons in 1793. 

In 1812 Fourier received a small legacy from his mother, 
from which he derived a yearly income of 900 francs, and, 
supplementing the little annuity with his occasional earnings 
as a curbstone broker, he abandoned his mercantile pursuits 
and devoted himself entirely to the study of social problems. 



The first known product of his pen was an essay published 
in 1803, in the Bulletin de Lyon, under the title "Triumvirat 
continental et paix perpetuelle sous trente ans " (" The Con- 
tinental Triumvirate and Perpetual Peace Within Thirty 
Years"). In this essay Fourier developed the idea that it 
was necessary for the interests of a lasting peace to establish 
. a universal empire in Europe. The four European powers 
^to be considered in connection with such an empire were, in 
'; his opinion, France, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, of which, 
however, the latter would be vanquished in a single battle. 
The triumvirate and lasting peace then became possible, 
but should the three empires not agree, Austria would soon 
be absorbed, and the contest for the universal dominion 
would lie between France and Russia, with the chances of 
victory in favor of the latter. The article was said to have 
attracted the attention of Napoleon, who warned the pub- 
lishers not to print similar sentiments in the future. 

In 1808 he published his first large work under the title 
" The Theory of the Four Movements and of the General 
Destinies," which was followed by his "Treatise on Domes- 
tic and Agricultural Association, or Theory of Universal 
Harmony," in 1822; the "New Industrial World," in 1829; 
and two volumes of " False Industry, and its Antidote, Nat- 
ural, Attractive Industry," published in 1835 and 1836. 

Of these works, the first contained a general outline of his 
social system, and the others were devoted to a fortification 
of its several points and parts. 

The social system of Fourier is the most ingenious and 
elaborate scheme presented by any Utopian writer, and it is 
impossible to appreciate the movement to which it gave rise 
on two continents without a knowledge of the leading fea- 
tures of that system. 

Fourier is the apostle of social harmony. 

Unlike most Utopians, his starting-point in the criticism 
of the present order of things is not the injustice of the dis- 
tribution of social wealth, or the suffering of the poor, but 



the anarchy and wastefulne s s of modern production , and the 
repellent condition ot labor . He does not address himself '''' 
to the sentiments of man, but to their material interests. 
His battle-cry is not "Justice," but " Order," and the general 
prosperity and happiness of mankind is but an incident of 
the universal harmony of his system, not its primary aim. 

God created the universe on a uniform and. harmonious 
plan, argues Fourier, hence there is a harmonious connec- 
tion between everything existing; between organic and inor- 
ganic matter, between man and God, man and the globe, 
and the globe and the universe. Endowing man with cer- 
tain instincts and passions, God intended the free and full 
exercise of these instincts and passions, and not their sup- 
pression. Hence all human passions are legitimate and use- 
ful, and an ideal state of society is such as affords to its 
members a full opportunity to gratify them. 
. Fourier thereupon proceeds to analyze the human pas- 
sions, and finds them to be twelve in number, as shown in 
the following table, reproduced from Brisbane's "Social 
Destiny " : 

Five sensitive pas- 

Four affective pas- 

Three distributive 

r Sight 







. Paternity 


or directing pas- < Alternating 
sions ( Composite 


riches, and 
material har- 

Groups and 
passional har- 

Series and con- 
cert of masses 


Unity ism, 
tendency to 

Of these, the first five, if properly exercised, tend to ele- 
gance, refinement, the cultivation of all fine arts, and to 
physical health and enjoyment. 

The four " passions " of the second group tend to estab- 
lish well-balanced and harmonious social relations between 

• "Social Destiny of Man, or Association and Reorganization of In- 
dustry," by Albert Brisbane, 1840. 


man and man, and are, therefore, glso designated Social 

The three passions of the third group are of Fourier's own 
creation, and require some explanation. The tenth, or Emu- 
lative Spirit, called by Fourier the Cabaliste, is the spirit of 
party, intrigue, or rivalry. Exercised in a legitimate man- 
ner, as in the rivalry of groups for the excellence of their 
productions, it is a source of great industrial improvements 
and inventions. The eleventh, or Alternating Passion, called 
the Papillione, in the technical language of Fourierism, is 
the desire for change and variety in all pursuits. Applied 
to industry, it would destroy the monotony of the present 
methods of work, and make the latter pleasant and attract- 
ive. The twelfth, or Composite Passion, is the spirit of 
enthusiasm begotten by a combination of two passions of 
different groups, as, for instance, hearing excellent music in 
company of dear friends, which gratifies both the sense of 
hearing and sense of friendship. Applied to industry, it 
signifies the association of congenial persons for the per- 
formance of a pleasant and attractive work. 

The free play of these passions leads to the formation of 
Groups and Series. 

A Group is "an assemblage of persons — three, seven, 
twelve, or more — freely and spontaneously united for any 
purpose, either of business or pleaslire. But in strict the- 
ory, we understand by Group a mass leagued together from 
identity of taste for the exercise of some branch of Indus- 
try, Science, or Art." * 

A full Group should consist of at least seven persons, so 
that it could form three Subgroups, three in the center, and 
two in each wing. The two wings of each Group represent 
two opposite extremes of taste and tendencies, while the 
Center maintains the equilibrium, and, therefore, should be 
the more numerous. 

A number of Groups, at least five, unite into a Series. 
*The quotation is from Brisbane. 


The Series is made up of Groups on the same principle upon 
which the latter are made up of individuals. 

For instance, a cattle-breeding Series is divided into as 
many Groups as the kinds of cattle it breeds, and each Group 
is divided into Subgroups for every variety of cattle within* 
the breed raised by the Group. 

It must be observed that the Series and Groups are not 
formed arbitrarily by an overseer or superintendent, but by 
the free choice of the members, and also that they are by no 
means fixed organizations, but that each member may go 
from Group to Group, from Series to Series, as his inclina- 
tions dictate. 

The great advantages which Fourier sees in this mode; of 
work are the choice and variety of occupations, and short 
duration of each; the choice of congenial fellow workers; 
the division of labor and rivalry between the separate 
Groups and Series. 

To these natural advantages Fourier adds some artificial 
attractions, such as elegance and beauty of all exterior ob- 
jects connected with industry ; honorary distinctions, such as 
ranks, titles, and decorations; and the stimulus of music, 
uniforms, and emblems. 

To provide for a field broad enough to allow every one to ^ 
exercise usefully his varied inclinations by means of Groups 
and Series, a number of individuals, preferably i,8oo to 2,000, ^ 
must associate together. /^ 

This association, named the Phalanx, is the social unit in ^ 
the system of Fourier ; it is tEecorner-stone of his theory, 
and its workings are described by him with great detail. 
The domain of the Phalanx occupies an area of about three 
square miles, and its principal edifice is the Palace. The 
Palace consists of a double line of continuous buildings about 
2,200 feet in length and three stories in height; like the 
Group and the Series, it is composed of a center and 
two wings. The center is reserved for quiet occupations ; 
it contains the dining-halls, council-rooms, library, etc.; 


in one of the wings all workshops of a noisy nature 
are located, and the other wing contains the hotel with 
apartments and saloons for strangers. The storehouses, 
granaries, and stables are placed opposite the Palace, and 
the space between the two forms the grand square, where 
parades and festivities are held. Around the interior of the 
entire building winds a. spacious gallery, which is, so to say, 
the street of the Phalanx. It is an elegant covered avenue, 
from which flights of stairs lead to every part of the build- 
ing. "The inhabitants of the Palace," exclaims Fourier 
with enthusiasm, " can, in the height of winter, communicate 
with the workshops, stables, bazaars, and ballrooms without 
knowing whether it rains or blows, whether it is warm or 

Behind the Palace are the gardens and fields of the Pha- 
lanx, arranged with due regard to the nature of the soil and 
sense of beauty. 

In the Phalanx there are no parasites, as servants, armies, 
fiscal agents, idlers, etc. The women are freed from their 
monotonous and stultifying household duties, and do useful 
work in a number of branches for which they are exception- 
ally well adapted. 
a All members work, and all work is done on the coopera- 
^ tive plan, hence the enormous economies and great wealth 
of the Phalanxes. Let us suppose a Phalanx consists of 
400 families. Each family, living separately, would have 
to maintain a separate kitchen. This would take almost all 
the time of 400 housewives, and the cooking would be 
pretty bad in most cases; in the Phalanx all the cooking 
is done in one vast kitchen, with three or four fires for pre- 
paring the food for different tables at different prices ; ten 
skilled cooks perform all the work, and the meals are infi- 
nitely better. The same applies to all other household work, 
■ as well as to farming and industrial pursuits. Instead of a 
hundred milkmen who lose a hundred days in the city, one 
or two are substituted, with properly constructed vehicles to 


perform their work; instead of having to manage a hundred 
little farms, one great domain is being cultivated skilfully 
and scientifically; one large granary, with all advantages of 
dryness, ventilation, and locality, is substituted for hundreds 
of inconvenient little granaries, etc. 

The education of the children is the object of the greatest 
care of the Phalanx. All children receive an equal educa- 
tion in the common nurseries and schools. True to the 
theory of the usefulness of all human passions, the Phalanx 
considers it the principal duty of teachers to detect all in- 
clinations and tendencies of the child, to develop them, and 
to turn them to good account. 

The classification of children according to character and -' 
taste commences from the very birth. The sucklings are 
divided into three classes : the quiet, or good-natured ; the 
restless, or noisy; and the turbulent, or intractable; and 
separate rooms are maintained for each of the classes. The 
nurseries are large, beautiful rooms, and the work of nursing 
is done by women who have an inclination for it. Mothers 
may personally nurse their children, if they wish. 

The children are divided into seven orders according to 
age, and the education and pursuits of each order are deter- 
mined by the inclinations manifested at the particular age. 

At the age of three years the child is initiated in easy and 
attractive industrial pursuits, such as helping in the kitchen, 
and thus the energies usually wasted by children on play and 
mischief are being utilized by the Phalanx, while the child 
acquires an early taste for industry. 

As the child advances in age and attains a higher degree 
of physical development and intellectual culture, the scope 
of its useful activities is enlarged. Especially noteworthy in 
this respect is the organization of the " Little Hordes." 

The Little Hordes are composed of children of the age of 
from ten to twelve years, who take upon themselves the 
performance of all filthy and disagreeable work, such as 
cleaning sinks and sewers, the management of manures, etc. 


The reason why this work is assigned by Fourier to chil^ 
dren of that age is, as he observes, that they show a marlced 
passion for filth and dirt ; this passion, like any other, is 
given them for a useful purpose, which can best be accom- 
plished by the organization of " Little Hordes." The Little 
Hordes rank as the " Militia of God " in the service of Indus- 
trial Unity; they hold the first place in parades, and receive 
the salute of supremacy. 

With all that, however, the Phalanx is not a communistic 
organization. Seven-eighths of the members of a Phalanx are 
farmers and mechanics, the balance being composed of capi- 
talists, men of science, and artists. The property of the 
Phalanx is represented by shares of stock, but it is not nec- 
essary for every member to hold stock, nor need a stock- 
holder be a member. The Phalanx keeps accounts with 
every member, crediting him for his services at rates fixed 
by the council, with due regard to his efficiency and the na- 
ture of the services. At the end of the year an inventory 
is taken, and the profits are divided as follows : 

Five-twelfths to labor. 

Four-twelfths to capital. 

Three-twelfths to skill or talent. 

No jealousy or antagonism is created by this division of 
profits, as there are no fixed classes in the Phalanx. The 
same member holds one or more shares in the Phalanx, does 
work in one or more Groups, and develops special skill in one 
or more branches of industry, and thus shares in all three 
classes of profits. On the other hand, the capitalist is either 
satisfied with the mere dividends on his investment, or he 
adds to it such income as he may earn by applying his labor 
or talents to any useful pursuit, while the poor man works 
and earns more or less according to his preference for leisure 
or enjoyment. 

The Phalanx contains sumptuous apartments as well as 
modest living-rooms ; it furnishes elaborate repasts as well 
as simple meals ; it imposes no restrictions on clothing or 


amusements, and every member may lead a mode of life in 
accordance with his means and inclinations. 

This, in rough outlines, is the positive side of Fourier's 
system. Its author expected his system to supersede 
the present order of things gradually. The first Phalanx 
being established, others would follow in rapid succession 
until the entire globe would be covered with them, and 
Fourier, with his wonted mathematical accuracy, figures' 
out that the globe would hold exactly two millions of Pha- 

Here Fourier, as |many Utopians before and after him, is 
carried away by the beauties and possibilities of his own 
social theories, and crowns his system with a fanciful super- 
structure. The system of Phalanxes, he asserts, will ulti- 
mately unite the entire human race into one brotherhood, 
with a uniform civilization and mode of life, and with one 
universal language. Constantinople will be the capital of 
the globe, and the residence of the Omniarch, the chief ex- 
ecutive of the world. The Omniarch' will be assisted in 
the administration of the globe by 3 Augusts, 12 Caesarinas, 
48 Empresses, 144 Kalifs, 576 Sultans, etc., altho it no- 
where appears what useful functions this host of royalties is 
to perform. 

But the most fantastic part of Fourier's system is his the- 
ory of cosmogony. Each planet, he declares, has its period 
of youth, development, decay, and death, in the same way as 
man. The average life of the planet is 80,000 years, of 
which the period of infancy lasts 5,000 years, that of ascend- 
ing and descending development 35,000 years each, and that 
of senility 5,000 years. Within that period the human race 
passes through thirty-two periods. We are now in the fifth 
of these periods, that of Civilization. The eighth period, that 
of Harmony, will bring about universal happiness. The 
polar crown {couronne boreal^ will then originate, and will 
revolutionize the physical aspect of the globe; the climate 
will be uniform all over the world, the wild beasts will disa^- 


pear, and new creatures, useful to man, will take their place ; 
the ocean water will acquire the taste of lenionade, and the 
world will be one huge paradise. 

/| As we showed above, Fourier was not a communist. " No 
community of property can exist in the Phalanx," he declares 
expressly, and again and again he reiterates that a diversity 
of fortune and enjoyments is essential to universal harmony. 
Of Owen, who was his contemporary, Fourier used to speak 
with contempt, saying that he did not understand the prin- 
ciples of association. His system is a compromise, a scheme 
of harmony between capital and labor. 

Fourier himself considers his system as absolutely infal- 
lible, and compares his "discovery of social attractions" 
to Newton's discovery of physical attraction. He clings to 
every detail of his system with the tenacity, belief, and en- 
thusiasms of the prophet, to borrow a happy comparison 
made by Bebel in his lucid study of Fourier's life and 

That the discovery was not made sooner was simply due 
to the fact that all previous science, as well as all previous 
civilization, moved on false lines. 

Fourier's faith in the ultii^ate realization of his scheme 
was never shaken ; he submftted his plans of a model Pha- 
lanx to scores of princes and bankers, and was never dis- 
couraged by their skepticism or derision. In one of his latest 
works he appealed for the means of establishing a trial Pha- 
lanx, and, during the ten years preceding his death, he went 
to his house at noontime with the regularity of clockwork, 
expecting the arrival of a philanthropic millionaire in re- 
sponse to his appeal. 

Fourier did not live to see the short period of popularity 
of his theories. He died in Paris on the loth day of Octo- 
ber, 1 837, surrounded by a very small circle of enthusiastic 
disciples. His tombstone bears this legend : 

*" Charles Fourier, Sein Leben und Seine Theorien," Von A. Bebel, 
Stuttgart, 1S90. 


" Here lie the remains of Charles Fourier. The Series 
distribute the harmonies. The Attractions stand in relation 
to the destinies." 


In the United States Fourierism was introduced by Albert 

Brisbane was born in 1809, the only son of a well-to-do 
landowner, at Batavia, N. Y. He received a thorough and 
many-sided education, and spent his early manhood in travel 
in the principal countries of Europe and Asia. He stud- 
ied philosophy in Paris under Cousin, and in Berlin under 
Hegel, and in both capitals he made the acquaintance of 
many men and women prominent in politics and in the re- 
public of letters. 

Of great influence in the formation of his character and 
views seems to have been the select circle of Berlin's intel- 
lectual aristocracy, which had for its gathering-point the 
drawing-room of the brilliant Mme. Varnhagen von Ense. 

Of a keen analytical mind and broad sympathies, Brisbane 
was early attracted by the humanitarian systems of the Uto- 
pian socialists of that time. 

He first enlisted with the St. Simonian school, and devo- 
ted much of his time and means to the propaganda of its 
principles. But the theories of the great French Utopian, 
extravagant in many respects, did not satisfy him long, and 
when the movement split under the rival leadership of En- 
fantin and Bazard, Brisbane severed his connections with it. 

It was a short time after that, that a copy of the newly 
published " Treatise on Domestic and Agricultural Associa- 
tion," by Fourier, fell into his hands. 

The effect of the book on the young man was magical. 
He read it and reread it, and the more he studied it, the 
higher rose his admiration for the work. 

" Now, for the first time," relates Brisbane in his autobi- 


Qgraphy,* "I had come across an idea which I had never met 
before-^the idea of dignifying and rendering attractive the 
manual labor of mankind ; labor hitherto regarded as a divine 
punishment inflicted on man. To introduce attraction into 
this sphere of commonplace, degrading toil — the dreary lot 
of the masses — which seemed to overwhelm man with its 
prosaic, benumbing, deadening influence; to elevate such 
labors, and invest them with dignity, was indeed a mighty 

In 1832 Brisbane went to Paris, where he remained two 
years studying the more intricate parts of Fourier's system, 
partly under the personal guidance of the master, and taking 
active part in the Fourierist movement, which was then just 
commencing to develop. Upon his return to the United 
States, Brisbane carried on the propaganda of his social ideas 
in a quiet way until 1840, when he published his "Social 
Destiny of Man." The work is a concise exposition of Fou- 
rier's system. About one equal half of it consists of extracts 
from Fourier's work, while the other half is devoted to the 
author's commentaries and illustrations, suitable to American 
conditions. The style of the work is popular, the exposition 
lucid, and the book had an immense and spontaneous suc- 
cess. It was read by all classes of persons interested in so- 
cial problems, and may be said to have laid the foundation 
for the Fourierist movement in this country. 

It was also instrumental in converting to the cause of 
Fourierism the man who subsequently became its most elo- 
quent and influential apostle — Horace Greeley. Of this 
interesting episode Brisbane gives the following amusing 
account : 

" I engaged Parke Benjamin to look over the proof-sheets 
of ' Social Destiny of Man,' he being a practical journalist 
of wide experience. 

" Talking over the subject together one day, and of the 

•"Albert Brisbane, A Mental Biography," by his Wife, Redelia 
Brisbane, Boston, 1893. 


probable effect of the book on the public, be susl^ei^ly 
exclaimed : ' There is Horace Greeley, just damned, fppi 
enough to believe, suph nonsense,' ' Wh^o is Greeley?' \ 
asked. ' Oh^ he is, thQ young ni,an up-^tai^s. editing th^ litem 

" I took my book under my arm and off I went to Greeley. 

"As I entered his room I said, ' Is this Mr. Greeley?' 
' Yes.' ' I have a book here I would like you to read.' 
' I don't know that I can now,' he replied ; ' I am very 
busy.' ' I wish you would,' I urged ; ' if you will, I will 
leave it.' ' Well,' he said, ' I am going to Boston to- 
night, and I'll take it along; perhaps I'll find time.' 

"Greeley took the book with him and read it, and when 
he came back he was an enthusiastic believer in Industrial 

The importance of the new acquisition for the cause of 
Fourierism in this country soon became manifest ; two years 
after the episode narrated, when the Tribune, founded in the 
mean time by Greeley, had become a popular and influential 
metropolitan newspaper, with a daily circulation exceeding 
20,000, which was very large for that time, its. editor opened 
the columns of the paper to the teachings of Brisbane. 

The arrangement was carried out in a rather original way. 

One spring morning in 1842 the Tribune appeared with 
this heading conspicuously printed on the top of one of the 
columns of its front page : 

" Association ; or, Principles of a True Organization 
OF Society. 

"This column has been purchased by the Advocates of Asr 
sociation, in order to lay their principles before the public. 
Its editorship is entirely distinct from that of the Tribune" 

Both sides profited by the arrangement, for while Bris- 
bane acquired a large daily audience for the propaganda, of 
his theories, the Tribune gained an additional circle of read- 


ers aineing-persons interested in social problems. Brisbane 
edited- the-eolumn until he went again to Europe, in the 
summer of 1844, and he made good use of the opportunity. 
Theoretical articles on Fourierism, practical hints as to the 
best iway of organizing associations, fervid appeals to the 
readers,' controversial arguments and accounts of meetings, 
filled the space allotted to Brisbane, from day to day. 

"At first," relates Parton,* "they seem to have attracted 
little, attention, and less opposition. They were regarded 
(as far as! my youthful recollection serves) in the light of ar- 
ticles to be skipped, and by most of the city readers of the 
7>7'3»«g, I presume, they were skipped with the utmost 
regularity, and quite as a matter of course. Occasionally, 
however, the subject was alluded to editorially, and every 
such allusion was of a nature to be read. Gradually 
Fourierism bescame one of the topics of the time. Gradually 
certain editors discovered that Fourierism was unchristian. 
Gradually the cry of Mad Dog arose. Mean while the 
artiqles of Mr. Brisbane were having their effect upon the 

Horace Greeley's services to the cause of Fourierism 
were not limited to the passive act of lending some space in 
his paper. He wrote and spoke on the subject of Associa- 
tions whenever and wherever occasion presented itself; and 
he took an active and leading part in the councils and con- 
ventions of the Fourierists, and in the attempts to realize 
their theories by the formation of Phalanxes. 

Of lasting interest is the famous discussion on Fourierism 
carried on between Horace Greeley and Henry J. Raymond 
in the columns of the Tribune and the New York Courier 
and Enquirer. The debate was conducted with much spirit 
and ability on both sides, and was afterward published as a 
separate pamphlet. 

Next in importance to Brisbane and Greeley in the move- 
ment Was Parke Godwin, associate editor of the Evening 
•J. Parton, "Life of Horace Greeley," Boston, 1869, 


Post, and son-in-law of its editor-in-chief, the poet, William 
CuUen Bryant. His pamphlet, Democracy, ConstructitH 
and Pacific, which appeared in 1843, became one of the most 
effective weapons in the literary arsenal of Fourierism. The 
pamphlet contained but little more than fifty pages, but in 
brilliancy of style, power of argument, and soundness of 
views, it excelled everything else written in this country in 
defense of Fourierism. Parke Godwin was one of the first 
American socialists to divine the tendencies of the capitalist 
mode of production, and he came very near the modem so- 
cialist conception of the class struggle. His appeal was ad- 
dressed priiicipally to the working men. Godwin also pub- 
lished a booklet, entitled " Popular View of the Doctrines of 
Charles Fourier," and a " Life of Charles Fourier." 

Of equal importance with these standard works on Fourier- 
ism were the periodical magazines devoted to the cause. In 
October, 1843, Brisbane established the Phalanx, a monthly 
magazine edited by him, with the able cooperation of Os- 
borne Macdaniel. It was published until the middle of 1845. 
When Brook Farm was converted to Fourierism, the Pha- 
lanx suspended publication, and its place was taken by the 

The Harbinger was a weekly magazine. It was published 
at Brook Farm, and, after the dissolution of the community, 
in New York. 

The conversion of Brook Farm added a new galaxy of 
brilliant writers to the cause of Fourierism. 

One of the foremost of them was the founder of Brook 
Farm, George Ripley, a man of profound scholarship and of 
exceptional qualities of mind and heart. He was a Unitarian 
minister, but after fourteen years of work in the pulpit he 
came to the conclusion that his profession was incompatible 
with his social and ethical views, and resigned from the min- 
istry. Having become converted to Fourierism, he devoted 
himself entirely to the cause. The Harbinger, during the 
four years of its existence, contained no less than 315 contri- 


butions from his pen. Charles A. Dana was another notable 
acquisition of the Fourierist movement. At that time he 
was a very young man, but sober and serious in all he under- 
took. His thorough training and methodical ways earned 
for him the nickname of " Professor " among his associates. 
Dana contributed 248 articles to the Harbinger. 

But the most prolific writer on the staff of the Harbinger 
was John S. Dwight, who heads the list of contributors with 
324 articles. Dwight, who, like Ripley, had studied for the 
ministry, and, like the latter, voluntarily abandoned the pulpit, 
was a poet, a lover and connoisseur of fine letters and music, 
and, withal, a man responsive to all appeals of human suffer- 
ings and wants. 

Prominent in the Fourierist movement of that time was 
also William Henry Channing, a Unitarian minister famed 
for his eloquence. 

Of other men and women of national fame whose names 
are identified with the Fourierist movement in this country, 
we may mention Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emer- 
son, Theodore Parker, T. W. Higginson, Henry James, 
James Russell Lowell, Francis G. Shaw, and Margaret 
Fuller, all of whom, with the exception of the three first 
named, were contributors to the Harbinger. 

The Phalanx and the Harbingervjero. the classical organs 
of Fourierism, but they were not its only representatives in 
the field of periodical literature. In his autobiography 
already alluded to, Brisbane mentions a weekly magazine run 
by him in conjunction with Greeley before the establish- 
ment of the Tribune. The magazine lasted but two months. 
Brisbane at one time also succeeded in getting the editorial 
management of the Chronicle, a small daily newspaper pub- 
lished in New York by one John Moore, and of a monthly 
inagaiine, called the Democrat, published by John O'SuUi- 
van. Both papers were converted into ardent advocates of 

Besides, the Fourierists of Wisconsin publisTied the 


Gleaner, those of Michigan issued a paper called the Future, 
and William Henry Channing published the Present. 

Another effective factor in the spread of Fourieristic doc- 
trines in this country were the public lectures held by the 
pioneers of the movement with great frequency. Brisbane, 
Greeley, Channing, Godwin, Dana, and a host of orators of 
minor renown, were ever ready to extol the beauties of As- 
sociation before audiences of any dimensions and in any place 
within reach. Here is a characteristic notice of one of such 
meetings published in the Tribune, and quoted by Sotheran : * 

"T. W. Whitley and H. Greeley will address such citizens 
of Newark as choose to hear them on the subject of 'Asso- 
ciation,' at 7: 30 o'clock this evening, at the Relief Hall, rear 
of J. M. Quimby's Repository." 

Extended lecture tours were also undertaken at ' different 
times by leading Fourierists, notably by John Allen, John 
Orvis, and Charles A. Dana, and these lectures and speeches, 
in a majority of cases, attracted crowds of eager listeners. 

The time was exceptionally propitiate for the reception of 
their doctrines. The country was just passing through one 
of those periodical crises which, when they occur, seem to 
menace the very foundation of our economic and industrial 
system. Production had almost ceased, hosts of working 
men were thrown out of employment, the misery of the 
population, especially in the industrial cities of the North- 
east, was appalling, and vagrancy developed with alarming 

Charitable organizations and official commissions, ap- 
pointed for that purpose by several municipalities and States, 
tried in vain to cope with the situation : it had grown be- 
yond their control. The nation stood bewildered and help- 
less before the mischievous workings of the blind economic 
powers. The complacent social philosophy of thousands of 
thinking men and women was rudely shaken by the matii- 

•" Horace Greeley, and Other Pioneers of American Socialism;" 
by Charles Sotheran, New York, 1892. 


festations of the crisis, and scores of new social problems 
were forced upon their attention. 

At the same time the antislavery agitation was just com- 
mencing to assume serious dimensions, and, as has hap- 
pened with almost every liberating movement, it soon tran- 
scended its original aim and bounds. The denunciations of 
chattel slavery logically led to the criticism of all other forms 
of social dependence of men. " Abolition of chattel slavery 
and of wage slavery " was one of the mottoes of the more 
radical part of the abolitionist movement, and the key-note 
of the eloquent appeals of Wendell Phillips and many other 
popular agitators of the time. 

It was at that juncture that Fourierism made its appear- 
ance in the United States. It promised to bring permanent 
order and harmony into industry, and mutual independence 
in the social relations of men. The promises were bright 
and alluring, and they were preached by most eloquent 
tongues. No wonder then that the movement spread rap- 
idly in this country. 

Numerous Fourierist societies were formed in the States 
of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. In all 
these States local conventions were held from time to time, 
and on the fourth day of April, 1 844, a National Convention of 
Associationists was held. The convention assembled at 
riintnn Ha ll New York, and it was a most noteworthy 
and enthusiastic gathering. George Ripley was chosen 
president, and among the vice-presidents were Horace 
Greeley, Albert Brisbane, Parke Godwin, and Charles A. 

Letters of sympathy and encouragement were received 
from all parts of the country. Numerous resolutions were- 
adopted, the most of them dealing with the subject of or- 
ganizing associations. Associations on the plan of Fourier's 
phalanxes were declared to be the universal remedy for all 
social evils, but the adherents were at the same time warned 


against experiments undertaken on too small a scale or with 
insufficient preparations. 

The convention also decided to form a permanent National 
Confederation of Associations, with the Phalanx as its offi- 
cial organ, and with a standing executive committee of eight- 
een. It also declared in favor of international cooperation 
of Associationists, and appointed Albert Brisbane a commit- 
tee to confer with the Fourierists of Europe as to the best 
mode of mutual cooperation. , 

The period immediately prfeceding and following the Na- 
tional Convention may be regarded as the high-water mark 
in the Fourierist movement in this country; in the next 
chapter we shall witness its decline. 



Fourier early foresaw the danger of hasty gpcperiments for 
the progress of his movement. He declared that a phalanx 
could not unfold its benefits and beauties, and could not be 
made a success, unless it had a membership of 1,500 to 2,000 
persons, and a capital of about 1,000,000 francs, and to the 
end of his life he strenuously discountenanced all trials on a 
smaller scale. 

Brisbane modified the high standard of the master by re- 
ducing the number of persons required for the formation of 
a phalanx to 400. 

"The most easy plan for starting an Association," he 
argued, " would be to induce 400 persons to unite, and take 
each 1^1,000 worth of stock, which would form a capital of 
$400,000. The stockholders would receive one-quarter of 
the total product or profits of the Association ; if they pre- 
ferred, they would receive a fixed interest of 8 per cent. 
The investment of ;^i,ooo would yield ;g8o annual interest. 
With this sum the Association must guarantee a person a 
dwelling and living; and this could be done. The edifice 
coiild be built for ;g 150,000, the interest upon which, at 10 


per cent., would be $IS,(X)0. Divide this sum by 400, which 
is the number of persons, and we have ^37.50 per annum for 
each person as rent. Some of the apartments would consist 
of several rooms, and rent for $100 or less, so that about one- 
half of the rooms could be rented for ^20 per annum. A 
person wishing to live at the cheapest rates would have, af- 
ter paying his rent, $60 left. As the Association would 
raise all its fruit, grain, vegetables, cattle, etc., and as it 
would economize immensely in fuel, number of cooks, and 
everything else, it could furnish the cheapest-priced board 
at $60 per annum. Thus a person who invested j^ 1,000 
would be certain of a comfortable room and board for his in- 
terest, if he lived economically, and would have whatever he 
might produce by his labor in addition. He would live, be- 
sides, in an elegant edifice surrounded by beautiful fields and 

Brisbane himself and the other leading Fourierists always 
clung to this ideal of a large and wealthy Association, and 
from time to time publicly warned the hotspurs of the move- 
ment against hasty experiments with insufficient capital and 

But very little heed was paid to the warning. The able 
and persistent propaganda of Associationism had created a 
popular enthusiasm which soon grew beyond the control of 
the leaders. Fourierism had taken root in the broad masses 
of the population, and the masses were impatient to realize 
the bright promises of the new social gospel on the spot. 

Phalanxes grew, as it were, spontaneously. They were 
undertaken by any number of men, large or small, with any, 
and sometimes without any, capital, and soon covered all 
States in which Fourierism had taken a foothold, with a 
veritable network. 

The history of these experiments is one monotonous rec- 
ord of failure. The inherent defects of Fourier's scheme of 
social organization appeared on the surface as soon as it was 
put to the test of a practical application. The supposed 


strength of the scheme, the compromise between the inter- 
ests of capital and labor, between cooperation and individ- 
ualism, was, in fact, a source of great weakness. It robbed 
the Phalanxes, or at least those of them which attempted to 
organize on the real Fourieristic plan, of that unity of inter- 
est and endeavor which is so absolutely indispensable for a 
social experiment of that nature, and which alone sustained 
all successful communities during their early trials and 

But, injustice to Fourierism, it must also be admitted that 
the instances in which the experiments were undertaken on 
the lines laid down by Fourier or Brisbane were very few, 
and that more of the failures are attributable to extraneous 
factors than to the inherent defects of Fourierism. The 
men who undertook the experiments were, in many cases, in 
the testimony of Greeley, " destitute alike of capacity, pub- 
lic confidence, energy,, and means," especially of means. 

Instead of a capital of ;^400,ooo, one four-hundredth part 
of it would frequently be all an Association would manage 
to get together for a start. With that sum it was manifestly 
hard to purchase the fertile and beautiful " domain " in the 
vicinity of a populated city, as recommended by the origina- 
tor of the " Phalanxes." 

The experimenters, as a rule, had to satisfy themselves 
with a small parcel of barren land in the wilderness, and 
that one heavily mortgaged. The distance from the city, 
and the scantiness of their means, relegated the settlers to 
agricultural pursuits exclusively, although very few of them 
were trained farmers. One or more miserable log huts took 
the place of the gorgeous social "Palace," and the "attrac- 
tive industry " dwindled down to a pathetic and wearisome 
struggle of unskilled and awkward hands against the obstinate 
viles of a sterile and unyielding soil. The struggle, as a rule, 
lasted until the first instalment on the mortgage became due, 
and as the mortgagee was never satisfied with the three- 
twelfths of the profits allotted to capital by Fourier, the "do- , 


main " was almost invariably foreclosed . The only Phalanxes 
that attained some significance, and at one time seemed to 
justify the expectation of permanent success, were the North 
American Phalanx in New Jersey, the Brook Farm Phalanx, 
and The Ceresco, or Wisconsin Phalanx in Wisconsin. Of 
those the first mentioned lasted fully twelve years, and the 
career of the other two extended over five and six years re- 
spectively. The average life of all other known Phalanxes 
was about fifteen months. A brief sketch of their history 
will be found in the next chapters. 

The Phalanxes were to Fourierism vastly more than the 
social experiments of other Utopian schools were to their 
theories. While all the other schools of Utopian socialism 
contemplated a social organization on a national scale, and re- 
garded their communities as mere illustrations and miniature 
models of the future state, the Fourieristic Phalanxes were 
the final state ; they were to their founders not only means 
of propaganda, but also the realization of their teaching. 
The peculiar feature of the Fourierist scheme is that it in- 
troduces the state of social happiness and equilibrium by in- 
stalments. Every Phalanx is a piece of that social state, 
realized and complete within its limits, and quite independ- 
ent of the surrounding world. The Phalanxes thus natu- 
rally became the test of Fourierism, and the movement did 
not survive their failure. 

In vain did the American apostles of Fourierism protest 
that the doctrines of their leader had not had a fair trial, and 
were in no way responsible for the disasters of the numer- 
ous social experiments undertaken in haste and carried out 
in defiance of the teachings of Fourierism. Their protests 
were not heeded. To the popular mind, Fourierism, was 
synonymous with Phalanx, and the failure of the latter was 
proof of the impracticability of the former. Besides, the 
industrial depression which had greatly assisted the move- 
ment in its formative stages, had passed, and with it, the 
eagerness for radical social reforms. 


Fourierism as a theory retained hold of a number of choice 
intellects for some time, but as a popular movement it dis- 
appeared within the same decade that saw its origin and 
marvelous development — the decade of 1 840-1 850. 

The further career of the originators and champions of 
this remarkable movement was of a rather variegated nature. 
Horace Greeley continued taking an active interest in 
public life. His Tribune was a strong and indefatigable 
champion of the cause of antislavery from the start and un- 
til the final triumph of the cause. He was elected to Con- 
gress in 1848, and in 1872 he was nominated for the Presi- 
dency of the United States by the "Liberal Republican 
Party," and indorsed by the Democratic Party. He survived 
his unsuccessful campaign but a short time, and when he 
died, on November 29, 1872, thousands of the common 
people in all parts of the United States mourned the loss of 
a sincere and devoted friend, and his funeral in the city of 
New York assumed the dimensions of a gigantic popular 
demonstration. Greeley remained true to the ideals of his 
youth to the very end. 

Albert Brisbane lived till 1 890. He spent much of his 
time in Europe, and devoted the balance of his life to schol- 
arly and artistic pursuits. His entire being was so absorbed 
by Fourierism that, when the movement ebbed away, it 
seemed to have taken with it all his vigor and enthusiasm. 
His public career was closed, and altho he witnessed the rise 
of the modern socialist movement at home and abroad, he 
remained a passive though somewhat sympathetic observer 
of its progress. 

George Ripley devoted the remainder of his life to liter- 
ary pursuits. He was a regular contributor on the staff of 
the Tribune, and, together with Charles A. Dana, edited the 
"American Encyclopedia." He died on July 4, 1880. 

Dana also joined the staff of the Tribune m 1847. He 
was Assistant Secretary of War under Stanton during the 
civil war, and in 1868 he established the New York Sun. 


His radical social views did not survive the Fourierist move- 
ment very long, and in later years he and his paper were 
consistent and able defenders of everything conservative 
and reactionary in politics. He died in 1898. 

John S. Dwight developed into a musical critic cf note, 
and published Dwight' s Journal of Musicirom 1852 to 1881. 
He died in 1893 at the age of eighty years, a kind-hearted, 
noble, and enthusiastic old man, surrounded by a host of lov- 
ing friends. 


Of all the Fourierist experiments undertaken in this coun- 
try, the North American came probably nearest to the ideal 
of a " Phalanx." It was established by a number of earnest 
and cultured residents of New York and Albany for the 
purpose of " investigating Fourier's theory of social reform 
as expounded by Albert Brisbane," as its founders expressed 
it in their declaration of their objects. 

Before starting upon the experiment, the advice of Gree- 
ley, Brisbane, Godwin, Channing, and Ripley was sought, 
and Brisbane was one of the committee to select the site 
of the proposed Association. The site iinally selected was 
near Red Bank, Monmouth County, New Jersey, and in 
September, 1843, a few families took possession of the do- 
main and at once set to work erecting a temporary dwelling- 
house. During the next year the number of actual settlers 
increased to about ninety. 

Within a short time the temporary dwelling-house was re- 
placed by a three-story mansion, with a front of 1 50 feet and 
a wing of 150 feet. A grist-mill was built on a stream 
running through the domain, and other industries were car- 
ried on in a small way. The chief pursuit of the Association 
was, however, agriculture. They planted two immense or- 
chards, occupying about seventy acres, of every variety of 
choice fruit, and their fields and farms were kept in better 


order and yielded better crops than those of their neighbors. 
The original investment of the Association was $8,000; on 
the first annual settlement in 1 844 its property was invento- 
ried at $28,000, and in 1852 it had risen in round figures to 

As soon as the industrial and agricultural pursuits of the 
Association were sufficiently developed, production was car- 
ried on by groups and series, and in the distribution of prof ^ 
its, Fourier's law of " equitable proportion " was adopted. 

For necessary but repulsive or exhausting labor the 
highest rate of wages was paid ; for useful but less repulsive 
labor the wages were smaller; and the smallest reward was 
received by those choosing agreeable pursuits. 

Thus men engaged in brickmaking received ten cents an 
hour, those engaged in agriculture about eight cents, while the 
waiters and Phalanx physician received six and one-quarter 
cents per hour. In addition to these wages, however, special 
rewards were paid for skill and talent displayed in any branch 
of industry or in the administration of the Association's 
affairs. Thus the chief of the building group, who had to lay 
out all plans for work from day to day and to supervise the 
work, received an extra stipend of five cents a day in addition - 
to his regular earnings. The wages of the members, com- 
puted on this complicated system, varied from six to ten 
cents an hour, the latter figure being regarded as the maxi- 

The members were given perfect freedom to choose such 
occupations as they preferred, and to work as much or little 
as they liked. They were credited with the amount and kind 
of labor performed by them every day, and were paid in full 
every month, the profits being divided at the end of the year. 
The average earnings of labor upon such division of profits 
amounted to about $13 per year, while capital received about 
five per cent, upon the investment. It will be perceived 
that the earnings of the members were not large, but then 
the cost of living in the Phalanx was small in proportion. 



The rent of a pretty good-sized, comfortable room in the 
principal mansion was ^12 per year. 

Meals were, in later years, served d, la carte, coffee being 
half a cent per cup, including milk; butter, half a cent; 
meat, two cents ; pie, two cents ; and other things in propor- 
tion. In addition to this, each member paid thirty-six and 
a half cents per week for the use of the dining-room, and his 
proportion for the waiting labor and for lighting the room. 
The waiters marked the charges for every meal in a book 
kept by each member for that purpose, and settlements were 
made at the end of every month. 

The majority of the members of the Association were 
people of culture and refinement, and life in the Phalanx was 
exceedingly pleasant, to judge from the enthusiastic accounts 
of a number of prominent Fourierists who frequently paid 
them visits. They had a small reading-room and library, 
they possessed several musical instruments, and singing, 
dancing, and merrymaking were the order of the day as soon 
as their labors in the field or shops were over. 

" I have often heard strangers remark upon the cheerful- 
ness and elasticity of spirit which struck them on visiting 
Brook Farm," writes Ripley, " and I found the same thing 
strongly displayed in the North American Association." 
Neidhart, commenting upon the appearance of the members, 
observes : " There is a serene, earnest love about them all, 
indicating a determination on their part to abide the issue 
of the great experiment in which they are engaged. The 
women appeared to be a genial band, with happy, smiling 
countenances, full of health and spirits. Such deep and 
earnest eyes, it seemed to me, I had never seen before." 

The education of the children was one of the first cares of 
the Association, equal attention being paid to their physical 
and intellectual development. 

The North American Phalanx endured over twelve years. 
It was organized at a time when Fourierism was just com- 
mencing to make itself felt, and it saw the movement at its 


zenith and in its decline. It witnessed the death of all other 
Phalanxes around it, and remained alone, the solitary monu- 
ment of a movement that had given so much promise and 
had ebbed away so soon. This isolated position could not be 
maintained very long. The material advantages of the com- 
munity were but small, and, in the first years of its existence, 
it was largely kept together by the sustaining influence of 
the enthusiasm born of a broad and live movement of which 
it was part, and, when that enthusiasm departed, it took 
with it the very soul of the Association. To all outward ap- 
pearances the Phalanx continued its existence in all respects 
with the accustomed regularity, but beneath the surface the 
powers of dissolution were already working. Dissensions 
arose over matters of administration, dissatisfaction was oc- 
casionally expressed with the scanty earnings and poor pros- 
pects of the Association, and the question of disbanding was 
but a question of time. The dissolution of the Association 
was hastened by an accident. In September, 1854, the mill 
of the Association, built at a cost of about ;^ 12,000, was de- 
stroyed by fire. Greeley offered to lend them a sum suffi- 
cient to rebuild, and the Association assembled to deliberate 
upon the offer, and to decide upon the location of the new 
mill. In the course of the discussion some one suggested 
that they had better not build at all, but dissolve. The sug- 
gestion was quite unexpected and irrelevant to the matter 
under discussion, but it seemed to express the sentiment se- 
cretly entertained by the majority of the members, and upon 
the vote being put, the Association, to everybody's surprise, 
determined to dissolve. Thus abruptly terminated the ex- 
istence of the North American Phalanx. Its property was 
sold at forced sale, and its shareholders were paid sixty-six 
cents on the dollar. 



Brook Farm is the most brilliant and fascinating page 
in the otherwise rather monotonous and prosaic history of 
Fourierist experiments in America. 

The Farm attracted the noblest minds and choicest spirits 
of Fourierism, and lent poetry and charm to the entire 
movement. And still Brook Farm did not commence its 
career as a Fourieristic experiment. The origin of- Brook 
Farm is to be found in a philosophical and humanitarian 
movement which originated in New England about the thir- 
ties of the last century, and of which Boston was the intel- 
lectual center. 

The men and women whose names are most closely asso- 
;iated with that movement were George Ripley and his wife, 
Sophia Ripley ; William Ellery Channing and his nephew, 
W. H. Channing; Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
Henry D. Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John S. Dwight, 
Elizabeth P. Peabody, and scores of others whose names 
h^ve since become part of our national history. 

They were idealists and enthusiasts, and ardent advocates 
of all social, political, and religious reforms agitated in their 

They met at irregular intervals at one another's houses 
and discussed all possible and impossible problems of philos- 
ophy, politics, and religion, and, altho they had no formal 
organization between themselves, they soon came to be 
known to the outside world as the "Transcendental Club." 

The name was originally intended as an appellation of 
derision, but, as happened so often in history, it was subse- 
quently adopted and borne with pride by the objects of the 
intended ridicule. 

How the skeptical matter-of-fact critics of the movement 
understood the term Tramcendentalists was probably best 


expressed by the terse and witty definition of Miss Taylor, 
who said of them that they " dove into the infinite, soared 
into the illimitable, and never paid cash." The interpreta- 
tion placed upon the word by the transcendentalists them- 
selves is, on the other hand, expressed by Ripley in the fol- 
lowing language : " We are called Transcendentalists because 
we believe in an order of truth that transcends the sphere of 
the external senses. Our leading idea is the supremacy of 
mind over matter." 

The " Transcendental Club " existed several years, and 
the immediate fruit of its labors was a quarter-annual maga- 
zine of high literary standard, called The Dial. The Dial 
was published at irregular intervals, and contained many val- 
uable contributions from the gifted pens of the famous men 
and women connected with the movement. 

In 1 840 Ripley finally decided to make a practical applica- 
tion of the principles and theories advocated by the tran- 
scendentalists. He resigned from the ministry, and, encour- 
aged by a few of the more ardent spirits of the " Club," he 
set out to establish a community. A location was chosen in 
the spring of 184 1. It was a farm in West Roxbury, about 
nine miles from Boston. The place was originally a milk 
farm, and belonged to one Mr. Ellis. It consisted of about 
200' acres of good land, and was extremely picturesque. 
The first settlers consisted of about twenty persons, includ- 
ing Ripley himself, his wife and sister, Dwight, Hawthorne, 
and William Allen. But few of the remaining members of 
the Transcendental Club followed Ripley to the Farm. 

The official name adopted by the little colony was The 
Brook Farm Institute for Agriculture and Education, and 
the object of the Institute was formulated by its founders 
in their Articles of Association, as follows : 

" To more effectually promote the great purposes of hu- 
man culture; to establish the external relations of life on a 
basis of wisdom and purity ; to apply the principles of jus- 
tice and love to our social organization in accordance with 


the laws of Divine Providence; to substitute a system of 
brotherly cooperation for one of selfish competition ; to secure 
for our children, and to those who may be entrusted to our 
care, the benefits of the highest physical, intellectual, and 
moral education which, in the preseat state of human knowl- 
edge, the resources at our command will permit ; to institute 
an attractive, efficient, and productive system of industry; 
to prevent the exercise of worldly anxiety by the compe- 
tent supply of our necessary wants ; to diminish the desire 
of excessive accumulation by making the acquisition of indi^ 
vidual property subservient to upright and disinterested uses ; 
to guarantee to each other the means of physical support 
and of spiritual progress, and thus to impart a greater free- 
dom, simplicity, truthfulness, refinement, and moral dignity 
to our mode of life." 

By their Articles of Association they also agreed that 
the property of the community be represented by shares of 
stock ; that all members be provided with employment ac- 
cording to their abilities and tastes. They also provided for 
a uniform rate of compensation for all labor; for a maximum 
working day of ten hours ; for the free support of all chil- 
dren under the age of ten years, and persons over the age 
of seventy years, as well as of all those who may be unable 
to work on account of sickness ; for free education, medical 
attendance, and use of library and bath. 

The administration of the community was lodged in four 
committees of three, styled respectively the Departments of 
General Direction, Direction of Agriculture, Direction of 
Education, and Direction of Finance. 

It will thus be perceived that the Brook Farmers, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, showedadecided leaning toward \ 
Fourierism from the start, and that their subsequent formal ' 
reorganization as a Phalanx was an easy and logical develop- i^ 
ment, rather than a sudden conversion, as it has been repre- \ 
sented to have been. ^ 

,^ The principal feature of the young community was its 


school. This was divided into four departments : an infant 
school for children under the age of six years, a primary school 
for children under ten, a preparatory school for pupils intend- 
ing to pursue the higher branches of study in the insti- 
tution, and a six years' course to prepare young men for 

A wide range of sciences and sCrts was taught under the 
skilful and loving guidance of many competent instructors, 
and equal attention was paid to physical and moral develop- 
ment. Many men, who subsequently played an important 
part in the literary and political life of the country, owed 
much of their achievements to their education in the Brook 
Farm School. Among the most brilliant of such scholars 
were the Curtis brothers — James Burrill, who made a name 
for himself in the scientific world of England, where he ulti- 
mately made his home, and George William, the well-known 
novelist and one-time editor of Harpers Weekly ; Francis 
Channing Barlow, who became a general in the civil war 
and later held the offices of Secretary of State and Attorney- 
General in the State of New York; Colonel George Duncan 
Wells, noted for his bravery in the civil war ; and Dr. John 
Thomas Codman, who wrote a charming book of reminis- 
cences of Brook Farm.* 

In the course of the following three years the number of 
members grew to about seventy. The financial success of 
the Farm was but very moderate, and the life full of toil and 
devoid of earthly comforts. But the Brook Farmers had the 
extraordinary- skill to cover their poverty with the attractive 
veil of poetry, and to infuse charm and romance into their 
prosaic every-day occupations. After the day's work was 
over, it was customary for the young men to repair to the 
kitchen and laundry, and to gallantly offer their services in 
dish-washing or clothes-hanging to the ladies. This done, a 
dance or games would be improvised in which all the young 

* " Brook Farm, Historic and Personal Memoirs," by John Thomas 
Codman, Boston, 1894. 


people of the Farm would participate, while the older 
men and women would be interested and sympathetic on- 

Music, excursions, and literary and scientific discussions 
would fill out all leisure hours, and, all told, the Brook Farm- 
ers were a happy and congenial lot of men, women, and 

Life on the Farm was rendered still more attractive by 
the frequent visits of friends from the outside world. Among 
the most frequent and most welcome visitors were Margaret 
Fuller, both Channings, Theodore Parker, Miss Peabody, 
and, later on, Horace Greeley, Albert Brisbane, Parke God- 
win, and other leaders of the Fourierist movement. 

In the beginning of 1 844, a short time after the National 
Convention of Associations, Brook Farm declared itself for- 
mally a Fourieristic community, and changed its name to 
" Brook Farm Phalanx." 

The transition did not effect a radical change in the plan 
of organization and mode of life of the settlement. But it 
added a new feature to it. Brook Farm became , the center 
and fountain-head of Fourierist propaganda. Early in 1844 
the publication of the Harbinger v^diS transferred to the Farm, 
and the presence of the high-class weekly journal opened a 
new field of activity for the literary talents of the Brook 
Farmers. The editorial department was in charge of Ripley, 
Dana was the principal reviewer, Dwight the art critic, Orvis 
wrote principally on Association, Ryckman was a steady con- 
tributor, other members of the Farm wrote occasionally an 
article or poem, and all of them took a lively interest in the 
magazine, discussing the merits and demerits of every article, 
and hailing the appearance of every new number as an event. 
In addition to the publication of the Harbinger, the Brook 
Farmers promoted the cause of Fourierism in various ways, 
and frequently sent out some of its most eloquent and efficient 
members to preach the blessings of Association to the out- 
side world. The lecture tours thus undertaken by Dana, 


Allen, and Orvis are the most noteworthy enterprises of 
the Farm in that direction. 

It was at that time that the Association was incorporated 
by a special act of the Massachusetts Legislature, and at 
that time, also, that it was decided to build a large unitary 
building on the Farm. 

Brook Farm was now in its most prosperous phase. It 
had become famous throughout the length and breadth of 
the country. Its visitors numbered by the thousands every 
year, it was showered with applications for admission to 
membership, and its financial returns were slowly but gradu- 
ally improving. 

The Farm was all activity and hope, and bubbling over 
with life and fun. But the main interest of the members 
was centered on the unitary Phalanx building, or " Palace," 
on which they had worked indefatigably over two years, and 
which was now nearing completion. 

It was expected that the large building would enable the 
Association to admit to membership many deserving appli- 
cants, who had so far been kept back on account of the lack 
of accommodations on the Farm, and that the resources and 
working capacity of the settlement would be greatly strength- 
ened by the accession of membership. 

It was on a fine spring evening in 1846, amid these pleas- 
urable expectations, that the Brook Farmers, most of whom 
were dancing and merrymaking as usual, were startled by 
the cry, " The phalanstery is on fire ! " 

And sure enough it was. Through some negligence of 
the workmen who were engaged in putting the finishing 
touches on it, the large wooden structure had caught fire, 
and the heartbroken Brook Farmers gazed on in helpless 
terror as the flames mercilessly enveloped the object of all 
their labors and hopes, and rapidly reduced it to ashes. Had 
the loss occurred a couple of years earlier, when the Fou- 
rierist movement was still strong. Brook Farm might per- 
haps have recovered from it; but in 1846 the movement was 


already on the wane, the enthusiasm of its votaries in Brook 
Farm was considerably dampened, and the destruction of the 
phalanstery proved fatal to the further existence of the 
Farm, in the same way as the destruction of its mill was 
fatal to the existence of the North American Phalanx. The 
Association struggled through the following spring and sum- 
mer, but in the autumn it gradually broke up, the Harbinger 
was transferred to New York, and the property of the Asso- 
ciation sold. The site of Brook Farm is now occupied by an 
orphan asylum maintained by a Lutheran church.* 


Of all Fourieristic experiments, the Wisconsin Phalanx 
was conducted on soundest business principles, much of its 
material success being due to the great administrative abili- 
ties of Warren Chase, who was its leading spirit from the 
first to the last. 

The Association was organized in May, 1 844, in the county 
of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The country was uninhabited 
for miles in all directions, and land was extremely cheap, sell- 
ing at $\.2^ per acre. 

The settlers paid cash for their land, and it was one of the 
distinguishing features of the Association that it never in- 
curred debts on its property. 

The original settlers, about twenty in number, came with 
teams, stock, tents, and implements of husbandry, and speed- 
ily erected a large dwelling-house and sawmill. Within a 
few months from their arrival they were joined by their 
families, and in less than one year the number of resident 
members increased to about 180. They drew up a charter 
and by-laws, under which they were incorporated by the 

• For a complete account of the Brook Farm experiment, see Lind- 
say Swift, " Brook Farm, Its Members, Scholars, and Visitors," New 
York, 1900. 


Legislature as the " Wisconsin Phalanx," and they founded 
the township of Ceresco, which was likewise chartered by 
the Legislature. There were but few settlers in the town 
outside of the members of the Phalanx, and the latter were, 
therefore, elected to all town oflfices. By the laws of the 
State they were required to elect, among others, three jus- 
tices of the peace, but, as they had no criminals and no 
litigation of any kind, the office became a purely complimen- 
tary one, and they regularly elected their three oldest men 
to fill it. They also elected one of their members to each of 
the two Constitutional Conventions held in Michigan during 
the period of their existence, and they sent three of their 
members to the State Senate. One of their members even 
ran for the office of Governor on the Free-Soil ticket, but he 
received a very small vote oatside of the township, and was 
defeated. They also applied for and obtained a post-office 
in their town, and one of their members held the office of 
postmaster until the administration of Taylor. 

They commenced operations with a very small capital, 
which gradually increased to about ^33,000. 

They were very industrious, had over 700 acres of land un- 
der cultivation, and raised over 10,000 bushels of wheat in 
one season. 

They never fully introduced the system of work in groups 
and series, but strove to fix the reward for labor, capital, and 
talent as much in accord with the precepts of Fourierism as 
practicable. The average wage was six to seven cents per 
hour ; the average cost of board was sixty to seventy-five 
cents per week. They were very careful in the selection of 
new members, and admitted none who either from insuffi- 
cient means or from physical weakness were likely to become 
a burden on their community. 

They had a free school, but intellectual pursuits and social 
life were rather neglected. They had no library or reading- 
room, and no social gatherings or entertainment of any ac- 
count. All told, the Wisconsin Phalanx surpassed the other 


Fourierist experiments in point of material prosperity, but 
fell short of the average in culture and refinement. 

The standing disagreement in the Association was over 
the subject of unitary, or isolated, households. The settle- 
ment was about evenly divided on the question, and their 
township elections mainly turned on that issue. 

The partizans of unitary households always carried by a 
narrow majority, and hence a common dining-room and com- 
mon mansion were maintained, but the minority was not dis- 
posed to submit, and continued to live in single families and 
to carry on their households in separate family dwellings. 

This issue, together with a number of contributing causes, 
of which lack of harmony and enthusiasm are to be counted 
among the foremost, finally induced the Associationists to 
dissolve. The formal dissolution and division of profits took 
place in 1850. The sale of the property yielded 108 per 
cent, of the investments, the only instance where a Phalanx 
dissolved without a loss to its founders and stockholders. 


The northern portion of the State of Pennsylvania was, 
in the middle of the last century, a most unpropitiate location 
for settlers. The region was a rocky desert, with no indus- 
trial or business center for miles in all directions, and the 
land was barren and cold, and thickly covered with boulders. 
But the cheapness of the land proved an irresistible attrac- 
tion for our social experimenters, and no less than seven 
Fourieristic settlements are known to have been established 
in that region between the years 1843 and 1845. Of these, 
the most noteworthy are the Sylvania Association, the Peace 
Union Settlement, the Social Reform Unity, and the Lerays- 
ville Phalanx. 

The Sylvania Association was the first Fourierist Pha- 
lanx in the United States. It was founded in May, 1843, by 
a number of residents of New York and Albany. Thomas 


W. Whitley was its president and Horace Greeley was its 
treasurer. The domain was selected by a committee con- 
sisting of a landscape painter, a homeopathic doctor, and a 
cooper; it consisted of 2,300 acres, situated in the township 
of Lackawaxen, Pike County. It contained a dilapidated 
grist-mill, which was speedily repaired by the settlers, and 
three two-story frame houses, which at one time had to ac- 
commodate all of the members, 136 in number. Later on 
the settlers built a large common dwelling-house, forty 
feet square and three stories high. 

They had agreed to pay for their land ^9,000, in yearly 
instalments of ;^ 1,000, and made the first payment on taking 
possession, but when the second payment fell due they found 
themselves unable to meet it, and the owner generously con- 
sented to take back the land with all improvements made 
by the settlers, and to release them of further obligations. 
The Sylvania Association existed about eighteen months. 

The Peace Union Settlement was situated in Warren 
County, and consisted of about 10,000 acres of land. 
It was founded by Andreas Bernardus Smolnikar, an Aus- 
trian Professor of Biblical Study and Criticism, who consid- 
ered it his special mission to establish universal peace on 
earth. The colony consisted almost exclusively of Germans, 
and the settlers abandoned the experiment after a brief but 
fierce struggle with the stubborn soil of their domain. 

The Social Reform Unity was established by a group 
of Fourierists of Brooklyn, N. Y. The domain consisted of 
2,000 acres, situated in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The land 
was sold to the settlers for ;^i.25 per acre, but they only paid 
on account of the entire purchase ;^ 100, or five cents per acre. 

They prepared and printed a very elaborate constitution, 
of which they, however, never made use. The barrenness of 
the soil, their inexperience in farming, and their extreme 
poverty, caused the dissolution of the Association within a 
very few months. 

The Leraysville Phalanx came into existence in a 


unique manner. Near the village of Leraysville, in the 
county of Bradford, there were seven adjoining farms. The 
owners of the farms were all Swedenborgians, the most in- 
fluential among them being Dr. Lemuel C. Belding, a pastor 
of the Church of New Jerusalem. 

When the tide of Fourierism reached the little congrega- 
tion, Dr. Belding and his friends decided to unite their seven 
farms into one domain. Amid impressive ceremonies they 
tore down the old division fences, and each of them turned 
over his farm to the Phalanx, at an appraised value, receiving 
shares in exchange. The seven original founders were soon 
joined by additional members, among whom were several 
physicians, clergymen, and lawyers, and a number of mechan- 
ics. The beginnings of the settlement were very promising, 
but an antagonism soon developed between the original 
owners of the domain and the newcomers, and the Associa- 
tion was dissolved after the brief existence of eight months. 


The western part of the State of New York was at one 
time the hotbed of the Fourierist movement. There was 
hardly a village or hamlet in the county of Genesee, the 
native county of Albert Brisbane, and in the neighboring 
counties of Monroe and Ontario, which did not contain one . 
or more groups of Fourierists. 

Brisbane devoted much of his time to propaganda of the 
principles of Association in that region ; some well-attended 
county conventions were held in Batavia and Rochester, 
and Phalanxes were organized on a large scale. 

Noyes describes seven experiments growing out of that 
movement whose history is almost identical. They were all 
undertaken with great enthusiasm and little preparation, 
were short-lived, and entailed heavy financial losses to their 

The most important of the New York phalanxes are the 


Clarkson Phalanx, the Sodus Bay Phalanx, the Bloom- 
field Association, and the Ontario Union. 

The four Associations had a common origin, their organiza- 
tion having been decided upon at a mass convention held 
in Rochester in August, 1843. They were located on the 
shores of Lake Ontario, within a short distance from each 
other, and together had over 1,000 members and more 
than ^100,000 of invested capital. Their average life was a 
little less than a year. 

This group of Phalanxes is noteworthy for the reason that 
it was the only one to form a confederation of Associations. 

The confederation was styled the " American Industrial 
Union." Its administration was vested in a council consist- 
ing of representatives of all its component Phalanxes. 

The council met once in May, 1844, and passed resolutions 
for a uniform conduct of the affairs of the Phalanxes, and for 
a system of exchange of products between them. But the 
resolutions were never acted upon. 

The failure of the New York experiments created a deep 
and lasting prejudice against Fourierism in the region which 
had once been its stronghold. 


NoYES records the history of five Phalanxes in the State 
of Ohio. Of these the most important seems to have been 

Trumbull Phalanx, v^ Trumbull County. This Phalanx 
was founded in the early part of 1844, and lasted until the 
fall of 1847. 

The domain of the Association consisted of about 1,500 
acres of land, partly purchased by the founders of the 
Phalanx, and partly contributed by some neighboring 
farmers in exchange for the Association's stock. 

The land was swampy and bred ague and a variety of 
other diseases ; the accommodations consisted of but a few 


insignificant dwelling-houses overcrowded to the utmost ca- 
pacity, and the luxuries and comforts indulged in by the 
members can be easily inferred from the fact that the 
average cost of living was estimated at forty cents per week 
for every member. 

Under these adverse circumstances 250 men, women, and 
children, most of whom had given up comfortable homes, 
struggled on for over three and a half years with an energy 
and self-abnegation which excited the admiration of their 

But the hopelessness of struggle at last dawned upon the 
most sanguine of them, and reluctantly they abandoned the 
enterprise from which they had hoped so much and for which 
they had sacrificed so much. 

The Ohio Phalanx was ushered in with much flourish of 
trumpets, and at one time the Associationists expected great 
things from it. Among its founders were E. P. Grant, Van 
Amringe, and other lights of Fourierism, and ;^ 100,000 was 
pledged for its support at an enthusiastic mass convention 
at which its organization was decided upon. 

The Association was founded in March, 1 844, on a domain 
of about 2,000 acres of land, near Wheeling, in the county 
of Belmont, Ohio. 

It seems to have suffered from a superabundance of theo- 
retical lore and from a proportionate lack of practical expe- 
rience. During the short period of its existence it had 
many discussions, several splits of a more or less grave char- 
acter, and one radical reorganization. It was finally dis- 
solved in June, 1845. 

The Clermont Phalanx and the Integral Phalanx 
both originated in Cincinnati, and were located within short 
distances from that city. Both experiments were conducted 
with the capital of their founders, and both experiments were 
failures. The Integral Phalanx published a magazine under 
the title of Plowshare and, Pruning-Hook. The magazine 
was devoted to the teachings of Fourier in general, and to 


the interests of the Phalanx in particular; it was to appear 
biweeldy, but only two numbers of it seem to have been 

The Columbian Phalanx is the name of another Fou- 
rierist experiment in the State of Ohio. But no particulars 
about the existence of that Association have become public, 
save that it was located in Franklin County and was organ- 
ized in 1845. 


Of other Phalanxes whose records have been transmitted 
to us, four were located in Michigan, and several in Iowa 
and Illinois. Of these, the Alphadelphia Phalanx, in 
Michigan, was the most important. It lasted over a year, and 
published a magazine under the title of Tocsin. Its leading 
spirit was one Dr. Schetterly, a disciple of Brisbane. 

All told, Noyes collected data of no less than forty-one 
Phalanxes, of which he found accounts or mention in Mc- 
Donald's collection,* or in the files of the Phalanx and Har- 
binger, and many more probably existed of which no record 
was left. To appreciate the full extent of the movement, 
we must bear in mind that in all France, the home of Fou- 
rierism, no more than two Phalanxes were ever attempted, 
and only one of them in the lifetime of Fourier. 

♦McDonald was the first historian of American Communities. 
He visited most of the communistic societies in person, and wrote 
down the results of his investigations and observations. After his 
death Noyes secured the manuscripts. His "History of American 
Socialisms " is largely based on the accounts of McDonald. 


The Icarian Communities 


Among the most interesting pages in the history of 
American Communism are those relating to the Icarian ex- 
periments. The records of patient sufferings, heroic devo- 
tion, and acrimonious feuds of these colonies cover almost 
half a century ; they are full of pathos and instruction, and 
have been the subject of numerous monographs, pamphlets, 
and magazine articles. 

fitienne Cabet, the founder and spiritual father of the Ica- 
rian communities, was born in Dijon, France, in 1788. He 
received an excellent education, studied medicine and law, 
and met with considerable success in the practise of the 
latter profession in his native town. At an early age he set- 
tled in Paris, where he affiliated himself with the secret revo- 
lutionary societies, in which the capital of France abounded 
at that time. 

In the revolution of 1830 he took a leading part as a mem- 
ber of the " Insurrection Committee," and upon the elevation 
of Louis Philippe to the throne of France, he was appointed 
Attorney-General for Corsica. This appointment was a 
shrewd move on the part of the Government to banish the 
dangerous Democrat from the revolutionary atmosphere of 
Paris under the guise of a reward for his services during the 
revolution. But the advisers of the " citizen-king " did not 
reckon with the upright instincts of Cabet, and no sooner 
had the new Attorney-General assumed the duties of his 
office in Corsica, than we find him aggressively active in the 
ranks of the radical anti-administration party. As was to be 
expected, he was removed from office with due despatch, and 
in 1834 his townsmen of Dijon elected him as their deputy 




in the lower chamber. His steadfast opposition to the ad- 
ministration, and revolutionary atfitude in the chamber, again 
drew on him the wrath of the Government, and having been 
tried on a charge of " Itse-majesti" he was given the choice 
between two years of imprisonment and five years of exile. 

Cabet chose the latter alternative, and emigrated to Eng- 
land. Here the busy politician for the first time found 
leisure for study and meditation, and as a result of both, he 
evolved a system of communism very similar to that of Rob- 
ert Owen. 

Returning to France in 1839, Cabet pubhshed his views 
in a work entitled " Voyage en Icarie " (" Voyage in Icaria "), 
and the publication of that book marked a turning-point in his 
entire career. " Voyage en Icarie " is in the form of a novel, 
and its very simple plot, briefly summed up, is this : Lord 
Carisdall, a young English nobleman, has by chance learned 
of the existence of a remote and isolated country known as 
Icaria. The unusual mode of life, habits, and form of gov- 
ernment of the Icarians excite his lordship's curiosity, and he 
decides to visit their country. " Voyage en Icarie " purports 
to be a journal in which our traveler records his remarkable 
experiences and discoveries in the strange country. 

The first part of the book contains a glowing account of 
the blessings of the cooperative system of industry of the 
Icarians, their varied occupations and accomplishments, com- 
fortable mode of life, admirable system of education, high 
morality, political freedom, equality of sexes, and general 
happiness. The second part contains a history of Icaria. 
It appears that the social order of the country had been sim- 
ilar to that prevailing in [the rest of the world, until 1782, 
when the great national hero, Icar, after a successful revolu- 
tion, established the system of communism. 

This recital gives Cabet the opportunity for a scathing 
criticism of the faults of the present social structure, and 
also to outline his favorite measures for the transition from 
that system to the new rigime. 


Prominent among those measures are the progressive in- 
come tax, abolition of the right of inheritance, state regula- 
tion of wages, national workshops, agricultural colonies, and, 
above all, a thorough and liberal system of education. The 
last part of the book is devoted to the history of development 
of the idea of communism, and contains a summary of the 
views of almost all known writers on the subject, from Plato 
down to the famous Utopians of the early part of the nine- 
teenth century. The plan of the novel does not differ mate- 
rially from that of More's " Utopia " or Morelly's " Basiliade," 
both of which were published before Cabet's work, or from 
that of Bellamy's, Howell's, or Hertzka's Utopian novels, pub- 
lished after it, but the success of the book was extraordinary. 

Between the revolutions of 1 830 and 1 848 the masses of 
France were in a constant state of vague discontent seeking 
some definite expression, and Cabet's work, with its popular 
style, its strong arraignment of the existing social order, 
and glowing pictures of a happy brotherhood of man, was 
acclaimed by them as a new gospel. Edition after edition of 
the book was published, and there were not many working 
men in France who had not read it. 

Encouraged by the brilliant reception of "Voyage en 
Icarie," Cabet devoted himself entirely to the propaganda of 
his communistic ideas, and for that purpose published, be- 
tween 1840 and 1847, the Populaire and the Icarian Al- 

By means of these periodicals, the "Voyage," and other 
works, he gained a powerful influence among the French 
working men, and in 1847 was said to have no less than 
400,000 adherents among them. 

When Cabet wrote his "Voyage en Icarie " he most likely 
intended merely to express his general views on social prob- 
lems, applicable to any country in civilization, and with no 
expectation of making those views the subject of an imme- 
diate social experiment. But, as the agitation for " Icarian- 
ism " grew stronger, and gave rise to much heated contro- 


versy with opponents of the movement, his enthusiastic 
adherents urged the necessity of founding an "Icarian" 
colony, in order to vindicate the truth of his theories by a 
practical demonstration. Accordingly, Cabet published in 
May, 1847, a proclamation to the French working men under 
the heading, " Allons en Icarie ! " (" Let us go to Icaria ! ") 

The language of the proclamation is in the style of exult- 
ant enthusiasm characteristic of Cabet. 

Recounting the hardships and persecutions to which the 
Icarians were subjected in France, and declaring that a revo- 
lution in their fatherland, even if successful, would not avail 
the working class, it unfolds a magnificent vista of the future 
of the Icarian settlement. Cabet believed that not less than 
10,000 to 20,000 working men would immediately respond to 
the appeal, and that within a short time a million of skilled 
laborers and mechanics would follow them. With such an 
ai^my he expected to build immense cities and villages on the 
communistic plan, with large industries, schools, theaters, 
etc. ; in short, a veritable paradise on earth, with a happy 
population of equals. The document wound up with an 
eloquent description of the beautiful climate and fertile soil 
of " America." 

The proclamation had a magic effect on the Icarians. Ca- 
bet received from his enthusiastic disciples thousands of 
letters containing offers of gifts for the prospective com- 
munity. The offers embraced articles of household furniture, 
tools, clothing, pictures, guns, seeds, libraries, jewelry, money, 
and everything imaginable, including, of course, a number of 
highly valuable inventions of all kinds to be tested in the 
new colony. A few weeks after the proclamation was issued, 
Cabet announced in the Populaire that he expected to unite 
more than a million cooperators for his enterprise. 

It now became necessary to iix upon a more definite loca- 
tion of the proposed settlement than the very vague " Amer- 
ica," and in September, 1847, Cabet went to London to seek 
the counsel of Robert Owen on that point. Owen recom- 


mended Texas. Texas at that time had just been admitted 
to the Union, and eagerly sought to populate its vast unoc- 
cupied territory. Large grants of land were made by the 
new State to private concerns on condition of securing set- 
tlers, and the representative of one of such concerns— the 
Peters Company— just happened to be in London in January, 
1848. Cabet, upon learning of that fact, immediately went 
to London again, and on January 3, 1848, made a contract 
with the Peters Company by which the latter agreed to deed 
to him a million acres of land in Texas on condition that the 
colony take possession of it before July i, 1848. 

Cabet was happy, and immediately announced in the col- 
umns of his Populaire that "after a careful examination of 
all available countries," he had chosen a beautiful and fer- 
tile tract of land in Texas for the proposed colony. 

The first "advance-guard," consisting of sixty-nine per- 
sons, sailed from Havre in February, 1848. Their depar- 
ture was preceded by a very impressive ceremony on the 
pier. The pioneers solemnly signed a "social contract" 
pledging themselves to the principles of communism ; Cabet 
delivered a touching address on the aims and the future of 
the movement, and, returning home, he wrote in the Popu- 
laire: "In view of men like the advance-guard, I can not 
doubt the regeneration of the human race. . . . The 3d of 
February, 1848, will be an epoch-making date, for on that 
day one of the grandest acts in the history of the human 
race was accomplished — the advance-guard departing on the 
ship * Rome ' has left for Icaria. . . . May the winds and 
waves be propitious to you, soldiers of humanity ! And we, 
Icarians, who remain, let us prepare, without loss of time, to 
rejoin our friends and brothers ! " 


The "advance-guard " of the Icarians arrived at New Or- 
leans on the 27th of March, 1848, and their disappointments 


commenced immediately. It appeared that Cabet was not 
up to the smart business methods of our American land 
agents, and that he had taken the statements of the repre- 
sentative of the Peters Company too literally. The Icarians 
had been led to believe that the lands of the Peters Com- 
pany were washed by the Red River and were accessible by 
boat, but, on consulting the map, it appeared that " Icaria " 
was separated from the river by a trackless wilderness of 
over 250 miles. 

Another disappointment, not less grave, the pioneers 
found in the peculiar apportionment of the land. The State 
of Texas had divided its unoccupied territory into square 
sections of 640 acres (one square mile) each, and had granted 
to the Peters Company the alternate sections of a certain 
tract of land. The Peters Company, in turn, divided its sec- 
tions into half-sections of 320 acres, and ceded to the Icarians 
the alternate half-sections. To give our readers a clear idea 
of the location of the lands of our Icarian settlers, we repro- 
duce on the next page the diagram, published by Dr. Albert 
Shaw in his " Icaria." 

In this diagram the blank sections represent the land re- 
served by the State of Texas, the blank half-sections repre- 
sent the land retained by the Peters Company, and the 
shaded half-sections represent the land acquired by Cabet. 

The absurdity of attempting to establish a communistic 
colony with a central administration and a cooperative sys- 
tem of industry and agriculture on many scattered and 
disjointed parcels of land is so obvious that it needs no 

Nor was this all. The Populaire had assured the Icarians 
that 1,000,000 acres of land had been acquired by Cabet, but 
upon a closer inspection it appeared that the contract of 
the Peters Company provided expressly that 3,125 persons, 
or families, should each receive 320 acres of land, provided 
they take actual possession, i.e., build at least a log cabin on 
their respective parcels before July i, 1848. And as the 



small advance-guard could not very well build more than 
about thirty*log cabins before July i, 1848, they could secure 
no more than about 10,000 acres, or one-hundredth part of 
the promised million. 

Distribution of Icarian Lands in Texas. 

These disappointments, however, did not deter the reso- 
lute band from their course. Arrived at Shreveport, they 
secured a few ox-teams and one wagon, and started on the 
march to Icaria. The hardships of this tedious trudge can 
hardly be described. Their only wagon broke down, their 
supplies gave out, and sickness set in. At last they arrived 
in the promised land, a sick and weary lot. 

But with the energy and good cheer characteristic of the 
pioneer, they set to work without loss of time. A small log 
house and several sheds were built, and they commenced 
plowing the prairie. In the mean while July had arrived, 


and with it the malarial fever. The weakened and over- 
worked Icarians fell an easy prey to the disease, four of their 
number died, their only physician became hopelessly insane, 
and every man in the settlement was sick. 

Such was the condition of the affairs in September, when 
part of the second advance-guard of Icarians, about ten 
in number (the second advance-guard consisted of nineteen 
men, instead of the promised 1,500, and part of these did not 
reach Icaria, having fallen sick on the way), joined them. 
Under these circumstances the pioneers decided to abandon 
Texas. To facilitate the retreat, they divided themselves 
into groups of two to four men, supplying each man with 
about $6, all that was left them, and after much suffering the 
weary party arrived at New Orleans in the winter of 1848. 
There they were joined by several new detachments of Ica- 
rian emigrants from France, including Cabet himself. 

By this time the Icarian movement had lost much of its 
strength in France. The February revolution of 1848 over- 
threw the kingdom of Louis Philippe, and established the 
Second Republic, the " right to labor " was proclaimed, and 
the "national workshops" were launched. The working 
men of France were full of hope for the social regenera- 
tion of their country, and the movement to establish a great 
communistic state abroad appealed but little to them. 

The million of Icarians expected by Cabet toward the 
close of 1847 dwindled down to less than 500, who gathered 
around him in New Orleans in December, 1848, and 
January, 1849. 

The funds of the Icarians amounted at that time to about 

To undertake a new emigration to Texas with such meager 
means, and after the discouraging experience of the first 
advance-guard, was out of the question, and the Icarians 
resigned themselves to remaining in New Orleans until a 
proper location could be secured. 

In the mean while dissensions arose among the Icarians, 


resulting in the withdrawal of about 200 of their number. 
The remainder, about 280 in number, finally fixed upon 
Nauvoo, 111., as a place of settlement, and arrived at that 
town in. the middle of March, 1849, having lost twenty men 
in transit as victims of cholera. 


The town of Nauvoo, in Hancock County, Illinois, was 
built up by Mormons under the leadership of Joseph Smith. 
In 1845, when the population of Chicago numbered about 
8,000, Nauvoo had 15,000 inhabitants, and was the most 
prosperous and flourishing town in the State. 

But the persecution of the Mormons became very intense. 
Joseph Smith was killed, and his successor, Brigham Young, 
organized a general migration of his followers to Utah. 

In 1849, Nauvoo, with its large stretches of cultivated land 
and its numerous buildings, was practically abandoned save 
Jor the solitary Mormon agent who remained in charge of 
the property, wistfully looking for purchasers or tenants. 

The opportunity seemed to our Icarians almost providen- 
tial, and they were not slow in taking advantage of it. 

They rented ^bout 800 acres of land, purchased a mill, 
distillery, and several houses, and for the first time fortune 
seemed to smile on them. 

The next six or seven years marked a general era of pros- 
perity in the history of Icaria. Their main building was a 
structure about 1 50 feet wide, and was used as a common 
dining-hall, assembly-room, etc. Besides, they had a school- 
house, workshops, a forty-room dwelling-house, and a num- 
ber of smaller houses. 

They kept about 1,000 acres of rented land under cultiva- 
tion, operated a flouring-mill, sawmill, and whisky distillery, 
conducted some tailoring, shoemaking, and carpentering 
shops, and their property was estimated at about $75,000. 
Nor were the intellectual and ethical sides of their life 


neglected. In their schools the children were taught a 
variety of subjects and carefully trained in the principles of 
the Icarian philosophy. They published newspapers, pam- 
phlets, and books in English, French, and German for the 
propaganda of their ideas, maintained a library of over 
5,000 volumes, and frequently indulged in the pleasures 
of theatricals, music, and dances. 

Their membership had almost doubled during that time, 
and the future of Icaria seemed bright with brilliant prom- 

But beneath the serene surface trouble was already brew- 
ing. In February, 1850, the Icarians adopted a constitution 
which provided for the administration of their affairs by a 
board of six directors. Of these directors, the first was the 
president of the community, and the other five were at the 
head of its following departments respectively : 

1. Finance and Provisions. 

2. Clothing and Lodging. 

3. Education, Health, and Amusement. 

4. Industry and Agriculture. 

5. Printing-office. 

The acts of the board of directors were, however, subject 
to the approval of the General Assembly, consisting of all 
male members over twenty years old. 

Under this constitution Cabet was elected president from 
year to year, and at first exercised his power very discreetly. 
But as the years rolled on, the founder of Icaria grew older, 
narrower, and more arbitrary, and his actions gave frequent 
cause for unpleasant friction. 

In these disputes, which gradually grew quite acrimonious, 
the members of the administration grouped themselves 
around Cabet, while the opposition dominated the General 

The hostilities of the two parties, now open and now con- 
cealed, continued with more or less vigor until August 3, 
1856, when the final breach occurred. The immediate oc- 


casion for the rupture was the semiannual election of du-ect- 
ors. The three new directors chosen were opponents of 
Cabet, and the latter and his followers refused to recognize 

Chaos and pandemonium now reigned in Icaria. The bel- 
ligerent factions were loud in their denunciations of each 
other; manifestos, proclamations, appeals, and libels were 
busily published ; acts of physical violence became an every- 
day occurrence, until the civil authorities of Nauvoo inter- 
vened, and installed the newly elected directors by force. 
Cabet and his party were not inclined to submit to defeat 
gracefully. They ceased to work, rented a separate building 
for their faction, and did their utmost to bring about the 
dissolution of the community, going to the extent of peti- 
tioning the State Legislature to revoke the charter of 

In October, 1856, Cabet was formally expelled from mem- 
bership in the community, and at the beginning of Novem- 
ber he, with his faithful minority of about 180 persons, left 
Nauvoo for St. Louis. 

A week later fitienne Cabet was no more. 

The father of Icaria and originator of one of the strongest 
popular movements in France of the middle of the last cen- 
tury succumbed to a sudden stroke of apoplexy in St. Louis 
on the eighth day of November, 1856. He died far away 
from the fatherland he loved so dearly, and an exile from the 
community on which all his thoughts and interests had 
been centered during the last years of his life. 


The faithful band of 180 who had followed Cabet to St. 
Louis now found themselves in a pitiable plight. Bereft of 
their leader, with no means to speak of, and the inclement 
winter before them, they could not think of establishing a 
new colony just then. 


The men, almost all of whom were skilled in one trade or 
another, accordingly secured work and remained in St. Louis 
until May, 1858, when the greater part of them, about 150 
in number, migrated to Cheltenham, to resume their in- 
terrupted community life. 

Cheltenham was an estate of twenty-eight acres, lying 
about six miles west of St. Louis. It contained a large 
stone building and six small log houses, and was very near 
the city. But unfortunately these advantages were more 
than balanced by the unfavorable features of the estate : the 
place was a veritable hotbed of fever ; the purchase price, 
$25,000, was excessive, and as the cash payment was but 
small, the mortgage was correspondingly heavy. 

But our Icarians were not discouraged. With a zeal born 
of enthusiasm, they went to work building up the social and 
industrial organization of their new colony. They set up nu- 
merous workshops, which did pretty remunerative work for 
customers in the near-by St. Louis, established a printing- 
office, schools, the indispensable music band and theater, and 
provided for periodical lecture courses and discussions. 

Cabet's name lent them great prestige with the Icarians 
in France ; they were recognized as the only genuine Icarian 
community by the Paris Bureau, and received much financial 
and moral encouragement from the old fatherland. One sub- 
scription opened in Paris for their benefit netted them as 
much as $10,000. 

Their material prosperity seemed to be insured in 1 859, 
when the old and fatal issue of all Icarian communities, the 
form of administration, reappeared in their discussions. 
This issue divided the Cheltenham settlers into two opposite 
camps. The majority, consisting mainly of the older mem- 
bers, believed in a single leader with dictatorial powers, while 
the younger elements advocated a democratic form of govern- 
ment. The contest terminated in a complete victory of the 
conservative elements, and the defeated minority, forty-two 
in number, withdrew from the community in a body. The 


loss of so many able-bodied men was a blow to the young 
community from which it never recovered. 

The industry of Cheltenham was crippled, its social life 
became cheerless, and members steadily withdrew, until, in 
1864, the community consisted of fifteen adults of both sexes 
and some children. 

It was a sorrowful day when the last president of the 
Cheltenham Community, the heroic and devoted A. Sauva, 
called a meeting of these last Mohicans, and, amid the loud 
sobs of the last " Popular Assembly," declared Cheltenham 
formally dissolved. 

v.— IOWA 

The first split in the ranks of the Icarians affected the 
Nauvoo settlers hardly less injuriously than the Cheltenham 

The withdrawal of Cabet and his large following deranged 
their entire industrial system ; their property shrank togeth- 
er, while their debts increased very rapidly, and to escape 
certain decomposition, they decided upon a new change of 
locality. Nauvoo had always been regarded by the Icarians 
as a temporary settlement. The place was too small and too 
near the heart of civilization for their grand social schemes. 
They contemplated the establishment of an independent and 
highly complex communistic society on a large scale, and for 
that purpose they needed an immense stretch of land far 
away from the populated centers of the country. 

With that object in view they had acquired over 3,000 
acres of land in southwestern Iowa as early as 1852, and 
thither they now removed. They could not very well have 
made a worse choice. 

Iowa was, at that time, a vast desert, and the land selected 
by the Icarians was in the most secluded part of the State. 
The settlement lies at a distance of sixty miles from the 
Missouri River. In i860 the railroad now passing through 
the tract had not yet been built ; for miles in all directions 


the land consisted of trackless virgin prairie, with no trace 
of a hamlet or any human habitation. The enormous cost of 
transportation made the sale of their farm products to out- 
siders almost a matter of impossibility. In addition to that, 
the land was heavily mortgaged ; the mortgage drew ten per 
cent, interest, and, as the Icarians could not pay the latter, 
the debt compounded at a fearful rate. 

The hardships of the early pioneer days in Iowa proved 
too much even for a great many of the brave and enduring 
Icarians; members withdrew by the wholesale, until in 1863 
the number of the faithful was reduced to thirty-five, includ- 
ing men, women, and children, and the amount of their debt 
exceeded ;^ 1 5,000. 

The community seemed to face certain destruction, when 
the War of the Rebellion broke out. That war brought tem- 
porary relief to the little settlement. It enabled them to 
dispose of their surplus farm products at good prices, and 
to save up sufficient money to make a settlement with their 
mortgagees by which the latter accepted ;^S,5oo in cash and 
2,000 acres of land in payment of the mortgage. 

The next years of the history of the Iowa Community are 
marked by the monotonous and perseverant efforts of the 
settlers to insure their material welfare. 

They lived in miserable huts, often lacked the most nec- 
cessary articles of food and clothing, and worked themselves 
into a state of stupor, but the bright vision of a great and 
beautiful Icaria was always before their eyes, lending new 
vigor to their enfeebled bodies and new enthusiasm to their 
wearied minds. 

And gradually they worked themselves up. To the 
score of little log houses a common dining-hall and as- 
sembly-room was soon added; they purchased more land, 
built a grist- and sawmill, and raised considerable live 

With increasing prosperity the number of their members' 
augmented, and in 1868 it had almost doubled. 


The completion of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy 
Railroad gave a new impetus to their industries, and they 
now entered on an era of moderate prosperity. 

The primitive log houses were discarded for more com- 
fortable habitations, and a new central hall, sixty feet wide 
and two stories high, was erected. 

With the return of material comfort, the attention of the 
community was again turned to the social and esthetic side 
of life. As in Nauvoo and Cheltenham in the periods of 
prosperity, theatricals, music, public readings, and, above all, 
public discussions in the common assembly-room, became a 
regular feature in the life of our lowan settlers. 

And, as in Nauvoo and Cheltenham, the public discussions 
eventually led to the formation of factions within the com- 
munity. The hardships of pioneer life in the wilds of Iowa 
had naturally made the old generation conservative. Their 
comparative prosperity had been wrung by them from a hos- 
tile surrounding in fierce and obstinate battle ; it was the re- 
sult of untold sacrifices and privation, and they clung to it with 
the love and tenderness of a fond mother. The lofty ideals 
which had animated their work in the early stages of their 
struggles gradually shifted to the background ; material wel- 
fare, first regarded by them as a mere means for the realiza- 
tion of their sublime social theories, soon became the end, 
and the Utopian dreamers and enthusiasts developed into 
every-day farmers, with remnants of radical traditions re- 
duced to a bare formula. 

In marked contrast to this mental attitude stood the 
younger members of Icaria. Of these, part had grown up in 
the community, but the early struggles of their fathers were 
to them but a pale recollection of their childhood, and others 
had joined of recent date, and brought with them new ideas 
and a new atmosphere. 

The socialist movement had seen great changes since the 
"Voyage en Icarie." The Utopian dreams of the first half 
of the last century had given way to the modern socialism of 


Karl Marx ; the International had established a firm bond of 
solidarity among the socialists of all great countries of Eu- 
rope, the recent experiences of the Commune of Paris had 
given ample proof of the outbreak of active class war in 
Europe, while in America a socialist labor movement was 
rapidly developing. 

Several of the " young party " had been members of the 
International, and others had fought in 1871 on the barricades 
of Paris. 

It was under the leadership of these men principally that 
the young " progressive party " was formed in opposition to 
the "conservative party" of the old Icarians. 

The contest between the two parties was at first quite 
amicable, but gradually it assumed a more serious and threat- 
ening character. 

The young men demanded a number of reforms in their 
industrial and agricultural methods, suffrage for women, 
propaganda among outsiders, wholesale admission of new 
members, and other radical measures ; while the old pioneers 
were suspicious of all innovations and change in their mode 
of life. 

In September, 1877, the friction had gone so far that the 
"young party," which was in the minority, demanded a for- 
mal separation. The demand was flatly refused by the ma- 
jority, and the disaffected minority thereupon declared upon 
their opponents war to the knife. 

The conflict grew personal and hot, and neither party was 
very choice in selecting means to subdue its opponents. The 
party of the young finally went so far as to apply to the civil 
courts for a dissolution of the community, and in order to 
secure proper legal grounds for the application, they, the 
" progressives," charged the Icarian community, which was 
incorporated as an agricultural joint-stock association, with 
having exceeded its powers and having violated the provi- 
sions of its charter by its communistic practises. 

In August, 1878, the charter of Icaria was declared for- 


feited by the Circuit Court, and three trustees were elected 
to wind up its affairs. 

The Icarians never recovered from the effects of that split, 
altho each of the two parties made vigorous efforts to rees- 
tablish the community after its formal dissolution. 

The "young pa.rty," by arrangement with the trustees arid 
their former adversaries in the community, remained in pos- 
session of the old village, and reincorporated under the title, 
" The Icarian Community." But the community somehow 
did not prosper, and in 1884 the young Icarians removed to 
Bluxome Ranch, near Cloverdale, Cal., a horticultural farm 
which had then recently been purchased by some of their 
friends. The new settlement received the name Icaria Spe- 
ranza. It never prospered, and was finally dissolved by 
decree 6f the court in 1887. ^ 

In the mean while the old party had reorganized under 
the name, "The New Icarian Community," with Mr. Mar- 
chand, a veteran Icarian, as president. They received as their 
share of the property of the former community the eastern 
portion of the old domain, ;? 1,500 in cash, and eight frame 
cottages, which they removed bodily from the old homestead. 
They built a new assembly hall and resumed their agri- 
cultural work. 

With no accessions from the outside and a gradual deple- 
tion of their own ranks, caused by the occasional death or 
withdrawal of a member, they struggled on until 1895, when 
the community was finally dissolved. 

Thus ended the great Icarian movement which half a 
century before had made its appearance with so much flour- 
ish of trumpets, and with the bold promise of regenerating 
the social and economic system of the world by the mere 
passive proof of the blessings of brotherly community life. 



The history of communistic experiments in the United 
States covers a long period of time and furnishes such an 
abundance of material for analysis and induction, that it 
would hardly be proper to close this account without a few 
general observations. 

What strikes us most in these experiments is the varying 
degree of success attained by the different groups. 

The sectarian or religious communities have, beyond 
doubt, been the most successful in point of the average 
length of their duration and the degree of their material 
prosperity. Most of the societies classed as sectarian have 
existed over half a century, and a few are still in existence 
with the record of a full century behind them. Some of them, 
as the Shakers, the Economy, Oneida, and the Amana com- 
munities, have amassed fortunes, and all the others live or 
have lived in comparative comfort and affluence after the 
brief period of their pioneer days. 

The careers of the " non-religious " communities, on the 
other hand, have as a rule been short-lived and fraught with 
hardships. The average duration of the communities of the 
Owenite group was barely more than two years, that of the 
Fourierist Phalanxes, with the three notable exceptions of 
the North American Phalanx, the Brook Farm, and the Wis- 
consin Phalanx, was no longer, and the Icarian Communities 
were in a constant process of destruction and reorganization. 
These communities, furthermore, never achieved any degree 
of material prosperity, and their existence was, with a few 
exceptions, one of abject poverty. 

This glaring disparity in fortune and success of apparently 
similar enterprises could not fail to evoke numerous com- 


ments from the students of community life. Nordhoff and 
others sought to explain the phenomenon by the fact that 
the religious societies had strong leaders, and they came to 
the conclusion that no community could thrive without the 
guidance of an energetic and intelligent individual who knew 
how to gain the confidence of all members. Noyes and 
Greeley, on the other hand, advanced the theory that religion 
as such was the sustaining power of communities, and indis- 
pensable for the success of all communistic experiments. 

On a closer examination, however, both theories appear 
rather superficial and not in harmony with the facts : The 
Shakers hardly ever had a single leader of recognized uni- 
versal authority since the days of Ann Lee, and still their 
prosperity coritinued unabated for almost a century after the 
death of the prophetess, while New Harmony was a crying 
failure notwithstanding the leadership of a man of the intel- 
ligence and executive abilities of Robert Owen. Similarly, 
the Fourierist Phalanxes were very short-lived, altho they 
were, in a majority of cases, deeply religious; while the 
avowedly agnostic Icarians managed to maintain their exist- 
ence during almost two generations. 

The real reason for the comparative success of the relig- 
ious communities is, however, quite obvious. 

In the first place, these communities were chiefly composed 
of German peasants, men skilled in the tillage of the soil and 
whose wants were more than modest ; while the membership 
of the " non-religious " communities rhostly consisted of a 
heterogeneous crowd of idealists of all possible vocations, 
accustomed to a higher standard of life, and as a rule devoid 
of any knowledge of farming. What, then, is more natural 
than that the former should have made a better success of 
their " domains," or farms, than the latter ? 

Furthermore, the religious communities were organized for 
religious purposes, and not for the propaganda of commu- 
nism ; their communism was but a secondary incident to their 
existence, and whenever their material interests required, 


they sacrificed it, without compunction of conscience. The 
Shakers, Harmonists, Amanites, Perfectionists, and other 
reUgious communities employed hired labor in their fields 
and shops, and toward the end of their existence they prac- 
tically ceased to be communities, and became agricultural 
and manufacturing corporations. Their material success was 
thus to a large degree due not to their communism, but to 
their departure from communism. In other words, the sec- 
tarian, or religious, communities in the long run discarded 
communism, and in many instances became profitable busi- 
ness enterprises ; while the " non-religious " communities ad- 
hered to a communistic regime to the last, and almost uni- 
formly had short-lived and unsuccessful careers. 

As experiments in practical communism, the American 
communities must consequently be admitted to have been a 
total failure. And it would be idle to seek for the particular 
cause of the failure of each separate community as McDon- 
ald and other historians of his type have attempted to do ; 
the cause of failure of all communistic experiments is one — 
the Utopian character of the fundamental idea underlying their 

The founders of all communities proceeded on the theory 
that they could build up a little society of their own, 
eliminate from it all features of modern civilization which 
seemed objectionable to them, fashion it wholly after their 
own views of proper social relations, and isolate them- 
selves from the surrounding world and its corrupting in- 

But the times of the Robinson Crusoes, individual or so- 
cial, have passed. The industrial development of the last 
centuries has created a great economic interdependence be- . 
tween man and man, and nation and nation, and has made 
humanity practically one organic body. In fact, all the mar- 
velous achievements of our present civilization are due to the 
conscious or unconscious cooperation of the workers in the 
field and mines, on the railroads and steamships, in the fac- 


tories and laboratories the world over ; the individual mem- 
ber of society derives his power solely from participation in 
this great cooperative labor or its results, and no man or 
group of men can separate himself or themselves from it 
without relapsing into barbarism. 

This indivisibility of the social organism was the rock upon 
which all communistic experiments foundered. They could 
not possibly create a society all-sufficient in itself; they were 
forced into constant dealings with the outside world, and 
were subjected to the laws of the competitive system both 
as producers and consumers. Those of them who learned 
to swim with the stream, like the religious communities, 
adopted by degrees all features of competitive industry, and 
prospered, while those who remained true to their Utopian 
ideal perished. 

Modern socialists have long given up the idea of mending 
the present capitalist social and industrial system by isolated 
patches of communism. They recognize that society is not 
made up of a number of independent and incoherent groups, 
but that it is one organic body, and it is in the progress of 
the whole social organism that they center their hopes and 

Another and perhaps more interesting question to the 
student of social problems is the influence of community life 
upon the formation of human character. 

The communities of the Owen period were too short-lived 
to modify the character and habits of their members to any 
appreciable extent, and so were the Fourierist experiments, 
with the exception, perhaps, of the North American and Wis- 
consin Phalanxes and Brook Farm. But the Icarian com- 
munities, and, above all, the sectarian or religious communi- 
ties, have lasted for several generations. And, altho the life 
and career of the Icarians were much disturbed by inter- 
nal strife and material adversities, and the sectarian commu- 
nism was not always pure and unalloyed, the two groups 
could not fail to produce a type of men and women with 


characteristics somewhat different from those of the rest of 

In view of the oft-repeated assertion that competition fur- 
nishes the only incentive to inventiveness and industry, it is 
interesting to note that the communists have, as a rule, been 
possessed of these qualities in a high degree. Nordhoff, 
who was by no means a partial observer, remarks in this con- 
nection : " No one who visits a communistic society which 
has been for some time in existence can fail to be struck 
with the amount of ingenuity, inventive skill, and business 
talent developed among men from whom, in the outer world, 
one would not expect such qualities." And again : " Noth- 
ing surprised me more than to discover the amount and va- 
riety of business and mechanical skill which is found in every 
commune, no matter what is the character and intelligence 
of its members." 

It is also the unanimous testimony of all observers that 
the communists were, as a rule, very industrious, altho no 
compulsion was exercised by the communities. " The pleas- 
ure of cooperative labor is a noticeable feature of commu- 
nity life when seen at its best," observes Ely; Hinds, com- 
menting on his personal observations of many communities, 
concludes that individual holding of property is not essential 
to industry and the vigorous prosecution of complicated 
business ; and Nordhoff corroborates their testimony in the 
following passage : 

" How do you manage with your lazy people .? " I asked in 
many places ; but there are no idlers in a commune. I con- 
clude that men are not naturally idle. Even the " winter 
Shakers" — the shiftless fellows who, as cold weather ap- 
proaches, seek refuge in Shaker and other communes, pro- 
fessing a desire to become members ; who come at the be- 
ginning of winter, as a Shaker elder said to me, " with empty 
stomachs and empty trunks, and go off with both full as soon 
as the roses begin to bloom " — even these poor creatures 
succumb to the systematic and orderly rules of the place, 


and do their share of work without shirking, until the mild 
spring sun tempts them to a freer life." 

But while the members of communistic societies are not 
idle, and do their work steadily and well, they show no signs 
of the enervating hustling and hurrying which mars the 
pleasure of work in modern civilization. They take life easy. 

"Many hands make light work," say the Shakers, and 
they add that for their support it is not necessary to make 
work painful. 

The Oneida communists had short hours of work and de- 
voted much time to rest and recreation, and the Amana com- 
munists admitted that one hired hand did as much work in 
one day as a member of the commune would do in two. 

The communists, as a rule, also paid strict attention to the 
rational rules of hygiene, were models of cleanliness, and, 
almost without exception, temperate in their habits, although 
the German communists did not disdain the use of good beer 
and wine, especially in harvest-time. 

Contrary to the general impression, life in communistic 
societies was, on the whole, not monotonous. The commu- 
nists strove to introduce as much variety in their habits and 
occupations as possible. The Harmonists, Perfectionists, 
Icarians, and Shakers each changed their location several 
times. Of the Oneida Community, Nordhoff says: "They 
seem to have an almost fanatical horror of forms. Thus they 
change their avocations frequently ; they change the order 
of their evening meetings and amusements with much care, 
and have changed even their meal hours." With the Fou- 
rierist Phalanxes, variation of employment was one of the 
main principles, and the same is true of almost all other com- 

They were cheerful and merry in their own quiet way; 
disease was a rare occurrence among them, and they are not 
known to have had a single case of insanity or suicide among 

Under those circumstances it will not be surprising to 


learn that the communists were the most long-lived people 
in the United States. 

Among the members of Amana Community there were 
recently two above ninety years old, and about twenty-five 
between eighty and ninety. Most of the Harmonists lived 
to be seventy and over; among Shakers ninety is not an un- 
common age; the Zoarites had among them in 1877 one 
member ninety-five years old, and a woman of ninety-three, 
both of whom voluntarily continued working, and many 
members past the age of seventy-five years ; and in Oneida 
many members lived to be over eighty years. Of the found- 
ers and leaders of the communities, Rapp reached the age 
of ninety years; Baumeler and Noyes, seventy -five years; 
and Marchant, one of the leading Icarians, is still alive and 
active at the age of eighty-seven. 

The influence of community life seems to have been as 
beneficial on the moral and mental development of the com- 
munists as it was on their physical development. The 
Amana Community, consisting of seven different villages 
with a population at times exceeding 2,000, had never 
a lawyer in its midst ; and this community, as well as Bethel, 
Aurora, Wisconsin Phalanx, Brook Farm, and numerous 
other communities, declared with pride that they had never 
had a lawsuit against their communities or among their 

Their bookkeeping was, as a rule, of a very primitive na- 
ture. They did not exact any security from their managing 
officers, still there were no cases of defalcations or malad- 
ministration in office. 

" The communists are honest," says Nordhoff ; " they like 
thorough and good work, and value their reputation for hon- 
esty and fair dealing. Their neighbors always speak highly 
of them in this respect." 

They were also noted for their hospitality, kind-heartedness, 
and readiness to help those who applied to them for aid. 

And, finally, it must be noted that the communists invari- 


ably bestowed much attention upon the education of their 
children and their own culture. Their schools, as a rule, were 
superior to those of the towns and villages in the neighbor- 
hood; they mostly maintained libraries and reading-rooms, 
held regular public discussions, and they were more cultured 
and refined than other men and women of the same station 
in life. 

On the whole, the communistic mode of life thus proved 
to be more conducive to the physical, moral, and intellectual 
development of man than the individualistic rigime. 

Part II 



In wading through the history of modern socialism in the 
United States, we Ught occasionally on what seems to be a 
connecting-link between that movement and its earlier Uto- 
pian phases. 

Thus the Icarian communities maintained close relations 
with the Working Men's League of Weitling in the fifties of'' 
the last century ; later they took an active part in the works 
of the International, and their magazines, La Revue Icarienne 
and L,ajeune Icarie, were listed as official organs of the So- 
cialist Labor Party as late as 1879. t- 

Alcander Longley, who was prominently connected with 
almost every phase of the Utopian movements, reappears in 
about 1880 as a member of " Section St. Louis " of the So- 
cialist Labor Party, vigorously advocating the principles of 
that party in his Communist. Many Fourierists manifested' 
a sympathetic interest in the development of the later-day 
socialism, and at least one Brook Farmer, Dr. J. Homer ^ 
Doucet, of Philadelphia, is still actively connected with the 
socialist movement. 

But these instances must be regarded in the light of ex- 
ceptions to the general rule, and, on the whole, it is safe to 
say that the early Utopian theories and communistic colonies 
had but iittle influence on the formation of the modern so- 
cialist movement in the United States. 

The two movements are entirely different in nature and 



Utopian socialism was built on purely moral concsptions, 
anoaierrs^faits insp^^jLjjg^|h.eJtfiachings-of--Christ or 
other cbtteS'Of'j^ics; its existence was equally justified in 
tRe eighteenth century as in the nineteenth, and in this coun- 
try as on the old continent. 

Moder n socialism, on the oth erhand. is primarily^econQmic^i 
in character, and f an not takerooFiiraH5^"country before its 
social and industrial conditions have made it ripe for the 

""^ The present socialist movement depends for its support»~. 
upon the existence of a large class of working men divorced 
from the soil and other means of production, and permanently 

^reduced to the ranks of wage labor. '^\, Hlfifi ^pqnires a .syfa,, 
tem of indy3trydevelaped.*©'ap0iTit*wfeefe it becomes OT^~ 
ousupon thp v|[gcking>meaf«bj«eed9-dissatisfacl1Sn7 and "impels 
thern jto organized resistatiter ';In other words, the move- 
ment presupposes the existence of the modern factory sys- 
tem in a high state of development, and all the social con- 
trasts and economic struggles incidental to such a system. 

And these conditions did not exist in the United States ■ 
during the first half of the last century. America has long 
held an exceptional position among the nations of the earth. 
At a time when the countries of Europe had almost exhausted 
every square foot of ground and all of their natural re- 
sources, the western hemisphere had boundless stretches of 
fertile soil waiting for the first comer to occupy. Agricul- 
ture was a comparatively easy and lucrative occupation, and 
the greater part of the American population consisted of in- 
dependent farmers, at a time when manufacture and industry 
were the dominant factors in Europe. The abundance of 
land, in drawing the greater part of able-bodied men to the 
fields and pastures, furthermore left the supply of labor for 
the young industries far below the demand, and kept up an 
exceptionally high standard of wages. 

Wage labor was, under these circumstances, altogether 
more of a temporary condition than a permanent institution : 


as a rule it took the working man but a short time to save up 
sufficient money to settle on a farm, or to purchase the very 
simple and inexpensive tools of his trade, and to establish 
himself in business on his own account. 

Nor were the blessings of American life confined to mere 
economic advantages. The great struggles and triumphs of 
the Revolutionary War were still fresh in the memory of the 
nation ; the inspiring doctrines of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence still rang in the ears of the Americans ; the " in- 
alienable right " of men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
happiness was a living truth to them ; they were proud of i 
their political sovereignty, of their freedom of conscience, and 
of their liberty of speech and press. The young republic 
was prosperous, its future was brilliant ; it had no political 
privileges and hardly any economic classes, and it was but 
natural that it should have developed an unusual national 
optimism and complacency which caused it to frown upon 
any movement based on dissatisfaction with the existing 
order of things. 

But gradually a change was worked in the economic condi- Sw 
tions of the country. The unprecedented increase of popu- J 
lation diminished the area of public lands from year to year ; 
the more fertile soil was rapidly occupied, and what remained 
was mostly forest or barren country. Land became an ob- 
ject of commerce and speculation, steadily rising in price and 
growing more and more' inaccessible to the poor, who were, 
in consequence, compelled to turn from agriculture to indus- 
try. The foundatiofa for a permanent class of wage-workr 
ers was thus laid. 

At the same time, and as part of the same movement, 
modern industry made its appearance in the United States, 
and soon assumed marvelous dimensions. The inexhaustible 
resources of raw material of the country, and the enterprise 
and ingenuity of its inhabitants, soon conquered for it a front 
rank among the industrial nations. Commercial cities, fac- 
tory towns, and mining-camps sprang up in all parts of the 



continent ; railroad lines and telegraph wires covered it with 
a veritable network, and from a peaceful and contented agri- 
cultural community, the United States turned into a puffing, 
hustling, and noisy workshop. 

The industrial revolution brought in its wake a very radi- 
cal change in the social relations of men. A new era was 
introduced in the national life of America — the era of multi- 
millionaires and money-kings, of unprecedented luxury 
and splendor, but also the era of abject poverty and dire 

Overt struggles between capital and labor, in the shape of 
'^ strikes, lockouts, and boycotts, became more and more fre- 
quent, and were ofttimes attended by acts of violence. 

At the same time, the flow of working men to the industrial 
centers caused a congestion of population in some cases 
comparable only to that of China ; slums and tenement- 
houses became as much a feature of our principal cities as 
their magnificent avenues and mansions. 

In short, the United States, so recently the ideal republic 
of equal and independent citizens, became the theater of the 
most embittered class wars and most glaring social contrasts 
ever witnessed in modem times. 

And all these astounding social and economic changes 
were accomplished with incredible rapidity. In 1850 the 
population of the United States was but little over 23,000,- 
(X)0; half a century later it rose to over 75,000,000. In 
1850 the wealth pi the country amounted to little over 
$7,000,000,000, and was pretty evenly distf ibuted among the 
population ; in 1890 the " national wealth " exceeded 1^65,000,- 
000,000, and more than one-half of it was concentrated in 
the hands of but 40,000 families, or one-third of one per 
cent, of the population. In 1850 fifty-five per cent, of the 
wealth of the United States consisted of farms; in 1890 
the farms made up less than twenty-four per cent, of the 
wealth of the country. In i860 the entire capital invested 
in industries in the United States was little over $i,oon.oOO,- 


000 ; in the space of the following thirty years it had increased 
more than sixfold. 

In 1870 the supply of labor was too inadequate for the de- 
mand ; three decades later there was a standing army of over 
1,000,000 idle working men. In 1870 strikes and lockouts 
were hardly known in America; between 1881 and 1894 
the country witnessed over 14,000 contests between capital 
and labor, in which about 4,000,000 of working men 

The process of development sketched in the preceding 
pages thus prepared the ground for the socialist movement 
of the modern type, but a variety of circumstances rooted in 
the economic and political conditions and historical features 
peculiar to this country operated to retard the progress of 
the movement. 

In the first place, the American working men still enjoyed ft 
some actual advantages over their brethren on the other side 
of the ocean. The marvelous variety of industries and the ,/_ 
constant opening of new fields of enterprise made the United Ay- 
States a comparatively favorable market for labor, and, not- 
withstanding the temporary industrial depressions, the wages 
of American working men were, on the whole, better, and^ 
their standard of life higher, than those of the European *-^^(_ 
wage-workers. In the next place, there was a great differ- 
ence between the disposition and mental attitude of the 
working classes of America and Europe, which is to be ac- 
counted for by^,the difference of their origin and history. 

European industry was developed from the small manu- 
facture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the 
master of the workshop of old grew into the capitalist of to- 
day, and the apprentice and helper into the modern wage- 
worker. The process was a slow and gradual one, and both 
classes had ample time to crystallize. ,iTte F'i'"-"P'^-°-'»^"'^'^- 
ing men had several g enerations behind <'hf-m.f..ll»iif4i>.ill'TEew 
class tTa*dQiis:caiia:sSSffienfs^they were " class conscious." 

Not so with the American working men. Their existence 


_recent date to h asa* rlp\relopfid (teeidfed 
pie of toojQan}MaerrwlIo""BeIbre their^ rose froxg. 
JilE2SE&^^«f-4afeor-tcr'tHeTiigKSt pinnacles of wealth and 
power ^-tjiey were still inclined to consider wage labor as a 
mere transitory condition. 

Another check on the progress of the socialist movement 
in the United States is to be found in the political institu- 
tions of the country : the working classes of the European 
countries were, as a rule, deprived of some political rights en- 
joyed by other classes of citizens, and the common struggle 
for the acquisition of those rights was frequently the first 
cause to draw them together into a distinct political union. 
Universal Suffrage was the battle-cry of the German work- 
ing men when they gathered around Lassalle in the early 
sixties, and founded the nucleus of the now powerful Social 
Democratic Party : " The repeal of all laws curtailing individ- 
ual liberty, freedom of the press, education, coalition, and as- 
sociation," was one of the first demands of the French so- 
cialists upon the revival of the movement a short time after 
the fall of the Commune ; and similarly the first struggles of 
the Austrian and Italian socialists were for universal suf- 
frage, for freedom of meeting and association, and for the 
right of coalition of the working class. 
/^ In the United States, however, the working men enjoyed 
/ full political equality at all times, and thus had one less tao- 
I tive to organize politically on a class basis. 
V Furthermore, the periodical appearance of radical, reform 
parties on the political arena of the country often had the 
effect of side-tracking the incipient socialist movement into 
different channels. 

All these and many more obstacles of minor import con- 
tributed to make the progress of socialism in this country 
a much slower and more laborious process than in most 
countries of Europe. 

The first beginnings of modern socialism appeared on this 



continent before the close of the first half of the last century, 
but it took another half a century before the movement 
could be said to have become acclimatized on American soil. 
The history of this period of the socialist movement in 
the United States may, for the sake of convenience, altho 
somewhat arbitrarily, be divided into the following four 
periods : 

1. The Ante-Bellum Period, from about 1848 to the 
beginning of the civil war. The movement of that period 
was confined almost exclusively to German immigrants, 
principally of the working class. It was quite insignificant 
in breadth as well as in depth, and was almost entirely swept 
away by the excitement of the civil war. 

2. The Period of Organization, covering the decade 
between 1867 and 1877, and marked by a succession of so- 
cialist societies and parties, first on a local then on a national 
scale, culminating finally in the formation of the Socialist 
Labor Party. 

3. The Pekiod of the Socialist Labor Party, extend- 
ing over twenty years, and marked by a series of internal 
and external struggles over the question of the policy and 
tactics of the movement. 

4. Present-Day Socialism, which embraces the period of 
the last few years, and is marked by the acclimatization of 
the movement and the advent of the Socialist Party. 


Ante-Bellum Period 


In the early part of the last century the thirty odd coun- 
tries composing the German fatherland had apparently little 
attraction for their sons. The political decimation and eco- 
nomic backwardness j)tjthfi.xountry caused a flow of emi- 
gration which only* diminished after the formation of the 
Empire. It is 'fesfimated on insufificient data that over 3,000,- 
000 Germans left their fatherland during the first half of 
the nineteenth century. The bulk of this emigration was 
made up of journeymen and mechanics, but a considerable 
portion of it consisted of men of culture and education, with 
which Germany has always been overstocked ; and finally the 
ill-fated revolutions of 1830 and 1848 added a new and nu- 
merous element to it, that of the political refugees. 

The German emigrants formed large settlements in France, 
England, Switzerland, and Belgium, and many of them ulti- 
mately landed on the shores of this country. Around 1830 
the German population was well represented in almost every 
State and Territory of the Union, and was especially numer- 
ous in the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and 

The radicalism of these emigrants in Europe, as well as in 
America, fostered by the political and economic conditions 
of their fatherland, found additional support in the theories 
of the French Utopian socialism, and soon resulted in a wide- 
spread movement among them. They formed secret revo- 
lutionary societies and organized working-men's educational 
clubs for the discussion of social problems, and many of the 
"intellectuals " among them took an active and leading part 
in the movement, notably Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, and 
the distinguished coterie of their friends and cooperators. 



It was thus that the Communistic Club originated, at 
whose request Marx and Engels drew up the famous " Com- 
munistic Manifesto." The "Manifesto" contains the first 
complete exposition of Marxian or ScientificSgcialism, and 
contemporary socialism maybe said to date from the time 
of the publication of that document, February, 1848, altho 
the movement was for a long time thereafter almost wholly 
confined to the ^lite of the German emigration. 

The general movement among the German emigrants 
could not fail to find some echo in the United States. The 
society " Germania " was founded in the city of New York 
in the early thirties for the avowed purpose of gathering the 
political refugees and holding them in readiness to return to 
the fatherland as soon as the next political revolution would 
break oiit.* 

When the Free-Soil Party appeared on the arena of 
American politics, the German working men were among the 
first to respond ; they organized numerous Free-Soil clubs, 
and in 1 846 they published a weekly magazine, called The 
Tribune of the People ( Volkstribun), in the interests of that 

Many thousands of the German immigrants were, besides, 
organized into debating societies, cooperative associations, 
gymnastic unions, and trade organizations of a somewhat 
rudimentary character. But the movement was rather dis- 
jointed, and did not attain any appreciable power and influ- 
ence until the arrival of the famous German communist, 
Wilhelm Weitling. 


Wilhelm Weitling was born in Magdeburg in 1808 as 
the illegitimate child of a woman in humble circumstances. 
As a youth he learned the tailoring trade, and, according 

* " In der Neuen Heimath von Anton Eickhoff ," New York, 1884. 


to the custom of the German journeymen of his day, 
he traveled extensively during the period of his appren- 

The youn^ man combined extraordinary mental gifts with 
a veritable thirst of knowledge, and during his travels he 
managed to master the French language and to fill many 
gaps in his neglected education. 

He became an enthusiastic apostle of communism very 
early in life, and devoted himself entirely to the work of 
organization and propaganda among the German working 
men sojourning abroad. He organized a number of coopera- 
tive restaurants for journeymen tailors in Paris and Switzer- 
land, and a communistic working-men's educational society 
in London. He took an active part in various secret revo- 
lutionary societies which were then in vogue in Paris, and in 
1846 he joined the German Working-Men's Society at Brus- 
sels, of which the youthful Karl Marx and Frederick Engels 
were the leaders. 

Weitling's first literary production to attract wide atten- 
tion was a book printed by the secret revolutionary press in 
Paris in 1 838. It was entitled, " The World as It Is, and as 
It Should Be," and contained the first exposition of the 
author's communistic theories. 

His best-known work, " The Guaranties of Harmony and 
Freedom," was published four years later, and met with a 
decided and spontaneous success. It was widely read and 
commented on, and was translated into French and English. 

These two books, together with the " Evangel of a Poor 
Sinner," published in 1846, compose his principal works. 

In his social philosophy Weitling may be said to have been Y. 
the connecting-link between primitive and modern socialism. / 
In the main he is still a Utopian, and his writings betray the 
unmistakable influence of the early French socialists. In 
common with all Utopians, he bases his philosophy exclu- 
sively on moral grounds. Misery and poverty are to him 
but the results of human malice, and his cry is for " eternal 


justice" and for the "absolute liberty and equality of all 
mankind." In his criticism of the existing order, he leans 
closely on Fourier, from whom he also borrowed the division 
of labor into the three classes of the Necessary, Useful, and 
Attractive, and the plan of organization of "attractive 

His ideal of the future state of society reminds of the St. 
Simonian government of scientists. The administration of 
affairs of the entire globe is to be in the hands of the three 
^_Jl greatest authorities on " philosophical medicine," physics, and 
~i \\ mechanics, who are to be reinforced by a number of subor- 
ik ^ N^inate committees. His state of the future is a highly cen- 
)[' , tralized government, and is described by the author with 
the customary details. Where Weitling to some extent ap- 
proaches the conception of modern socialism, is in his recog- 
s^ nition of class distinctions between employer and employee. 
This distinction never amounted to a conscious indorsement 
of the modern socialist doctrine of the " class struggle," but 
his views on the antagonism between the " poor " and the 
" wealthy " came quite close to it. He was a firm believer 
in labor organizations as a factor in developing the adminis- 
trative abilities of the working class ; the creation of an in- 
dependent political labor party was one of his pet schemes, 
and his appeals were principally addressed to the working 

Unlike most of his predecessors and contemporaries, 
Weitling was not a mere critic; he was an enthusiastic 
preacher, an apostle of a new faith, and his writings and 
speeches breathed of love for his fellow men and of an 
ardent desire for their happiness. 

Weitling's magnetic personality and affable manners won 
the hearts of his fellow workers for him, and the persistent 
persecutions of the Swiss and German governments against 
him still augmented his popularity. 

In the forties of the last century he was, beyond doubt, 
the most influential figure in the numerous colonies of Ger- 


man working men in Switzerland, France, Belgium, and 

Weitling's first visit to the United States was undertaken 
toward the end of 1846 upon the invitation of a group of 
German Free Soilers to take editorial charge of the Volks- 
tribun, already alluded to. But, upon his arrival, he found 
that the magazine had suspended publication, and when, one 
year later, the rumor of the approaching revolution in his 
fatherland reached the shores of this country, he hurriedly 
returned to Germany. The " glorious revolution of 1 848 " 
was nipped in the bud in very short order, and Weitling, 
disappointed but not discouraged, came back to the United 
States in 1849. Here he found a wide and fruitful field of 

As already mentioned, the German immigrants had at 
that time formed a number of labor organizations of differ- 
ent kinds, but there was little organic connection and still 
less unity of aim and purpose among these organizations, 
and Weitling immediately undertook the task of centralizing 
the movement and directing it into definite channels. For 
this purpose he published The Republic of the Working Men 
{Die Republik der Arbeiter), a magazine which appeared 
monthly during the year 1850, and was converted into a 
weekly in April, 1851. 

Under Weitling's influence also a " Central Committee of 
United Trades" was formed in New York in 1850. This 
was a delegated body of labor organizations, representing 
from 2,000 to 2,500 members. Similar bodies were organ- 
ized in other cities of the Union, and a lively agitation soon 
sprang up among the German working men, especially in the 

Mass-meetings were held, leaflets distributed, and numer- 
ous clubs organized. The movement attracted the attention 
of the American press, and was made the subject of much 
favorable and unfavorable criticism, with the result that it 
soon spread beyond the bounds of the purely German labor 


organizations, and enlisted the sympathies and cooperation 
of working men of other nationalities, including native 

Every issue of the Republik of that period contains glow- 
ing reports of progress. In March, 1850, a mass-meeting 
of negroes in New York declared itself in accord with Weit- 
ling's ideas of a "labor-exchange bank," and a similar stand 
was taken in April of the same year by a convention of 
American working men in Philadelphia. On May loth the 
Republik published a letter from Cabet, in which the famous 
French Utopian expressed himself in favor of a harmonious 
cooperation between the Icarian colony at Nauvoo and 
Weitling's movement, and the same issue of the paper con- 
tained the news that a number of American farmers at 
Weedport, N. J., had organized under the name of " Farmers' 
and Mechanics' Protective Association," for the purpose of 
establishing a labor-exchange bank on Weitling's plan. On 
the twenty-first day of September a call for a general working- ~ 
men's convention, a subject long agitated by Weitling, was 
published in the Republik, and the convention was actually 
held in Philadelphia in October, 1850. 

This was the first national convention of German work- 
ing men on American soil, and is of great interest to the 
students of the labor movement, and especially of the social- 
ist movement, in this country. The convention was opened 
on October 22d, and completed its labors on October 28th. 

The basis of representation was one delegate for every 
one hundred organized members, and the number of mem- 
bers represented was 4,400. These were distributed among 
forty-two organizations in the following ten cities : St. Louis, 
Louisville, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, New York, 
Buffalo, Williamsburg, Newark, and Cincinnati. 

The subjects discussed at the convention were; 

1. Labor-Exchange Banks. 

2. Associations. ( , 

3. Political Party Organization. r i 1 \\C 


4. Education and Instruction. 

5. Propaganda. 

6. Colonies. 

7. Conventions. 

And the views of the convention on these subjects were 
set forth in resolutions published in the Republik and other 

The ^" Exchange Bank" of Weitling was, in the main, 
identical with Owen's " Equitable Bank of Labor Exchange." 
It was to be an institution where every producer of a useful 
commodity could deposit his product and receive in exchange 
a paper certificate of an equivalent value, with which in turn 
he could purchase any article contained in the bank store 
at cost. The difference between Owen's plan and that of 
Weitling was that the latter insisted upon cooperative indus- 
tries as an indispensable complement to the bank. 

The Exchange Bank was Weitling's pet idea; through its 
operations he hoped to gradually displace the capitalist mode 
of production, and he never tired extolling the beauties of his 

The convention adopted his views on the subject without 
modification, and prescribed minutely the mode of adminis- 
tration and practical workings of the institution. 

The political views of the convention were summed up in 
the motto, " Equal Rights and Duties," and the platform 
consisted of twelve demands, almost all of them borrowed 
from the platform of the Free-Soil Party. 

The delegates also provided for a central political commit- 
tee of seven in each city, who were to act in conjunction 
with each other in cases of state and national elections, and 
they also adopted resolutions in favor of an extension of 
educational facilities and the organization of communistic 

The convention appointed the " Exchange Commission " 
of New York as the temporary executive organ of the move- 
ment, and provided for the time and manner of holding the 


next convention. But, singularly enough, the delegates 
failed to designate an official name for the combination of 
organizations represented at the convention, and the body 
was for some time thereafter vaguely referred to as " the 
movement," "the association," "the union of cities," until 
the name "General Working-Men's League" {Allgemeiner 
Arbeiterbundy-vi2iS settled upon it by common consent. 

The period immediately following the Philadelphia con- 
vention marked the zenith of power and influence in Weit- 
ling's public career, and was followed by a period of rapid 
decline. His ExchangeBanks never matenalized. Altho 
some money was occasionally subscribed for the enterprise 
and some shares issued for it, the amount realized was alto- 
gether insufficient for even a very modest experiment, and 
Weitling reluctantly abandoned his favorite dream.' 

His followers made one attempt to realize his colonization 
scheme by founding the settlement " Communia " in Iowa in 
1849, but the attempt proved a disastrous failure and in- 
volved its originators in financial losses and unpleasant litiga- 
tions over the title to its land. 

In the mean while Weitling' s methods and his self -assert- 
ing conduct provoked the antagonism of many prominent 
members of the League, and after a brief but intense quar- 
rel, Weitling, irritated and disgusted, withdrew from public 

The remainder of his years he passed as a clerk in the 
Bureau of Immigration in New York. Toward the close of 
his life his notions of the value of his own achievements be- 
came morbidly exaggerated. He wrote a book on astronomy 
which, he asserted, contained discoveries by far excelling 
those of Newton, and he also claimed to have invented many 
valuable devices in sewing-machines, all of which were stolen 
from him by men who made immense profits out of them. 

His attitude of listlessness toward the succeeding phases 
of the labor movement was broken but once, when he ap- 
peared at a joint meeting of the New York Sections of the 


International on January 22, 1871. Three days later he 

The General Working-Men's League continued in exist- 
ence for some years after Weitling's withdrawal, but it never 
attained the significance of which its bright beginnings gave 

In 1853 3. call for a second convention of trade organiza- 
tions to be held in New York was issued, but the only trade 
represented in the convention was that of the typesetters. 

Some new life was infused into the movement around the 
middle of the fifties by the activity of Joseph Weydemeyer. 
Weydemeyer was a personal friend of Marx and Engels and 
well versed in the theories of scientific socialism. He came 
to New York at about the same time as Weitling. In the 
spring of 1852 he published a monthly magazine entitled 
Tke Revolution, in the second and last issue of which Marx's 
famous historical essay, "The i8th Brumaire of Louis Bona- 
parte," was printed for the first time. Weydemeyer strove 
to inoculate the doctrines of Marxian socialism in the Work- 
ing-Men's League, and delivered many lectures on the subject 
in German and English before the members. ' 

Toward 1856 Weydemeyer settled in Chicago, and re- 
mained there until the outbreak of the civil war. 

In 1858 the League established a new weekly magazine 
under the title Social Republic, and elected as editor of the 
magazine the well-known German revolutionist, Gustav 
Sruve, a romantic phrasemonger and confused mind, under 
whose influence the League soon succumbed. To charac- 
terize the spirit and mental caliber of the League at that 
time, we quote the following resolutions on the obligations 
of its candidates for political office : * 

* For these quotations and many other details of the movement of 
that period the author is indebted to Sorge's excellent articles on the 
Labor Movement in the United States. F. A. Sorge, " Die Arbeiter- 
bewegung in den Vereinigten Staaten," 1850-1860. Neue Zeit, No. 31, 
For other details of Weitling's career in the United States the 


" Resolved, That the following questions be asked of each 
candidate for office in the presence of the executive or ward 
officers : 

"i. Are you prepared, on life and death, to break the 
chains which tie labor to capital, and generally to defend the 
rights of the poor to the best of your abilities ? 

" 2. Are you prepared, on life and death, to maintain the 
absolute rights of labor before the law and to combat every 
injustice to immigrants through nativistic tendencies, etc. ? " 

Here follows a long string of similar questions, culmina- 
ting in the following emphatic declaration : 

"Resolved, That any candidate who may break his vows 
by acting contrary to the above principles be delivered to 
the judgment of the people." 

The Social Republic suspended publication in i860, and 
the General Working-Men's League was heard of no more. 


Of some significance in the spread of socialist teachings 
during the fifties were also the German Gymnastic Unions 

At that time the importance of physical culture by means 
of regular gymnastic exercises for the development of the 
entire human organism had just commenced to be appre- 
ciated. In Prussia gymnastics had been recognized as a part 
of the regular school exercises by a cabinet order of June, 
1842. Other countries followed the example, and, as is apt to 
happen with every new and inexpensive sport, things were at 
first somewhat overdone. Gymnastics became the fashion, 
especially among the poorer classes, and working-men's gym- 
nastic societies cropped up in all parts of Germany and in 
many other European countries. 

student is referred to the files of the Rejmblik der Arbeit, and for 
Weitling's biography to Emil Kaler's booklet, " Wilhelm Weitling. 
Seine Agitation und Lehren," Gottingen-Zurich, 1887. 


In the United States most of these societies set apart some 
of their meetings for the discussion of social and poHtical 
problems, an exercise which they styled " mental gymnas- 
tics." The early Turners were, as a rule, very radical in 
their political views. In 1 850, the year of Weitling's con- 
vention in Philadelphia, they held a convention in the same 
city. The convention was attended by delegates from sev- 
enteen different locals and a National Union was formed 
under the name " United Gymnastic Unions of North Amer- 
ica" {Vereinigte Tumvereine Nordamerica s). In 185 1 the 
name of the organization was changed to " Socialistic Gym- 
nastic Union" {Socialistiscker Tumerbund). 

The Turners affiliated politically with the Free-Soil Party, 
but declared it to be their aim to establish a Socialist Party 
in the United States. Professor Ely, in his work on the 
American Labor Movement, already cited, and after him 
Sartorius von Waltershausen, the German historian of the 
socalist movement in the United States, ascribe considerable 
importance to the part played by the gymnastic unions in 
the early stages of modern socialism in this country, but F. 
A. Sorge, who has had the advantage of personal observa- 
tions and recollections, disagrees with them on that point. 
At any rate, it does not appear that the gymnastic unions 
had any direct influence on the labor movement before the 
civil war, and after the war the Turners modified their po- 
litical and social creed very considerably in the direction of 
conservativismy and changed the name of their national or- 
ganization to North American Gymnastic Union, altho some 
individual locals still retain the word " Socialistic " as part of 
their name, and are still in sympathy with the socialist move- 


The next organization of pronounced socialist tendencies 
to make its appearance in the United States was the Com- 
munist Club, organized in New York in 1857. But little is 


known of the history of that club. Its membership seems 
to have been composed principally of men of the middle class 
who had received a good education in Germany. Their c om- 
munism^was based on philosophic rather than economic 
grounds, andlHeiTaim-and views were set forth in a priiitedr- 
copy of their constitution, dated in October, 1857,* in the 
following language : 

"The members of the Communist Club reject every relig- 
ious belief, no matter in what guise it may appear, as well 
as all views not based upon the direct testimony of the 
senses. They recognize the perfect equality of all men, re- 
gardless of color and sex, and therefore they strive above all 
jto abolish private property, inherited or accumulated, to in- 
/ augurate in its place the participation of all in the material 
; and intellectual enjoyments of the earth. They pledge 
themselves with their signatures to carry out their aims in 
the present state of society as far as possible, and to support 
\ each other morally and materially." 

Their constitution also provided for the formation of 
branches of the club, but none appear to have been organ- 

The only time the club attracted considerable attention 
was when it arranged a well-attended mass-meeting in 1858, 
in commemoration of the Paris insurrection of 1848. 


The German socialists of the early period were, of course, 
in full accord with the abolition movement, and the abolition 
of chattel slavery was always one of their political demands. 
But as the impending contest drew nearer, the issue assumed 
greater practical importance for them, and when the war was 
finally declared it absorbed their attention to the exclusion 
of all other political interests. 

*" Statuten des Kommunisten-Klubs in New York," New York, Oc- 
tober, 1857. 


Each of the various groups of socialist organizations then 
in existence furnished its full quota of soldiers for the Union 
army. " The Turners from every quarter," relates Professor 
Ely, "responded to Lincoln's call for troops, some of the 
unions sending more than half of their memhers. In New 
York they organized a complete regiment in a few days, and 
in many places they sent one or more companies. There 
were three companies in the First Missouri Regiment, while 
the Seventeenth consisted almost altogether of Turners. It 
is estimated that from forty to fifty per cent, of all Turners 
capable of bearing arms took part in the war." 

The proportion of soldiers furnished by other sociahst or- 
ganizations probably fell below the above figures, but was 
nevertheless quite considerable, and embraced some of the 
most energetic leaders of the young socialist movement. 
Joseph Weydemeyer served during the war on the Union side 
with great distinction, and was appointed to a post of respon- 
sibility in the municipal administration of St. Louis imme- 
diately after the termination of the war. 

August Willich, who in 1848 was a member of the London 
Communist League, together with Marx and Engels, and 
who had come to the United States in 1853, enlisted in 
the army immediately upon the outbreak of the war, and 
having been rapidly advanced to the ranks of lieutenant 
and colonel, he was commissioned brigadier-general in 

Robert Rosa, an ex-officer of the Prussian army and a 
member of the New York Communistic Club, served in the 
Forty-fifth New York Regiment, and achieved the rank of 
major. He died in igoi. 

Fritz Jacobi, one of the brightest and most promising 
young members of the Communistic Club, enlisted in the 
Union army as a private. He was advanced to the rank 
of lieutenant, and fell in the battle of Fredericksburg. 

Dr. Beust, Alois Tillbach, and many more socialists of less 
prominence were to be found in the ranks of the German 


volunteers.* In fact, the war had thinned the ranks of the 
incipient sociaUst organizations to such an extent as to para- 
lyze their activity, and it was not before 1867 that the move- 
ment commenced to recover. 

* For the greater part of this information the author is indebted to 
the courtesy of Mr. F. A. Sorge. 


Period of Organization 


The history of the socialist movement in the United States 
during the period immediately following the end of the civil 
war is closely linked with the career of the European Inter- 
national Working-Men's Association, and some acquaintance 
with the nature and history of that association will prove a 
valuable aid for the proper understanding of that period of 
the movement. 

The International Working-Men's Association, popularly 
known as the International, was formally organized at St. 
Martin's Hall, in London, on the twenty-eighth day of Sep- ■ 
tember, 1864. Neither time nor place could have been 
chosen better for the launching of a movement which stands 
unparalleled in the eventful history of the nineteenth cen- 
tury for the boldness of its conceptions, the loftiness of its 
ideals, and the grandeur of its proportions. 

The beginning of the sixties witnessed a most remarkable 
industrial, social, and political upheaval in all civilized coun- 
tries of both hemispheres. 

The advent of steam power and railroads had rapidly 
revolutionized the former slow methods of production and 
transportation in Europe as well as in America. Home in- 
dustries and small manufacture were supplanted by gigantic 
factories and a system of mass production. New machines 
were invented, new industries created, new markets discov- 
ered, and new relations established. A fresh breeze wafted 
through the old countries arid imbued them with new energy 
and vigor. 

The industrial progress was followed by a general political 
awakening and a renewal of the working-class movement. 



In Germany the political indifference and reaction follow- 
ing the defeat of the revolution of 1848 gave way to a lively 
agitation for a unified fatherland, and the working men, in- 
spired by their fearless and eloquent champion, Ferdinand 
Lassalle, opened a spirited campaign for universal suffrage 
and the rights of labor. In Italy, the population, under the 
leadership of Garibaldi and Mazzini, was engaged in desper- 
ate struggle against Austrian, French, and papal subjugation, 
and the cry of " united republic " often drowned the demand 
of an " independent kingdom." 

In the United States the antislavery agitation had reached 
its climax in the outbreak of the war; and the unfortunate 
Poles were winning the sympathies and admiration of Eu- 
rope by gallant feats in their courageous but hopeless strug- 
gle against the autocrat of all Russias. 

In England and France the trade-union movement was 
rapidly developing, and had gained some substantial victories 
in numerous skirmishes with capital. 

The whole continent of Europe was in a state of political 
and social unrest, and London teemed with political refu- 
gees of all nations. Almost every revolutionary move- 
ment of that time was represented in the capital of Eng- 
land by a more or less numerous group of men, and these 
refugees had frequent and friendly intercourse with each 

On the occasion of the world's exhibition of 1862, several 
French working men, elected by their fellow workers with the 
special permission of Napoleon III., were sent to London at 
the expense of their Government. They were cordially re- 
ceived by their English brethren, and a " Festival of Inter- 
national Brotherhood " was arranged, at which the working 
men of various nationalities exchanged views and expressed 
the desire of seeing a lasting union established between the 
laborers of Europe. About one year later, on July 22, 1863, 
the London working men arranged a public demonstration in 
favor of the Polish revolutionists, and several delegates of 


the organized French working men attended the meeting. 
The idea of an international union of working men was again 

This time the subject eHcited more interest, and the 
organizers of the meeting decided to undertake immediate 
steps for the practical inauguration of the movement. 

An address to the French working men was accordingly- 
prepared by a committee, of which the shoemaker Odger 
was the leading spirit. The address was couched in strong 
and eloquent language, and laid special stress on the evil of 
international competition in the labor market. " Whenever 
working men of one country are sufficiently well organized to 
demand higher wages or shorter hours, they are met by the 
threat of the employer to hire cheaper foreign labor," argued 
the authors, " and this evil can only be removed by the inter- 
national organization of the working class." 

The address had a decidedly strong effect, and the French 
working men immediately elected a deputation to convey their 
answer to London. 

It was for the purpose of receiving that deputation that 
the meeting at St. Martin's Hall, already alluded to, was 

Professor Beesly, who took a very active part in the early 
phases of the activity of the International, presided, and 
Hpnri L. Tolain, who headed the French deputation, read 
hit countrymen's answer to the London address. The an- 
swer was in effect an unqualified indorsement of the stand 
taken by the Englishmen. 

After some lively discussions, the meeting elected a com- 
mittee with instructions to prepare a platform and constitu- 
tion of an international working-men's association, to be in 
force provisionally until the next convention of the associa- 

The committee, subsequently reinforced, consisted of fifty 
members, and was composed of the following nationalities : 
twenty-one were Englishmen, ten were Germans, France 


was represented by nine members, Italy by six, Poland by 
two, and Switzerland by two. 

The subcommittee appointed to present a constitution 
and declaration of principles submitted two drafts : one pre- 
pared by the famous Italian patriot Mazzini, and the other 
by the father of modern socialism, Karl Marx. The latter 
wais unanimously accepted. 

This provided for the continuation of the various national 
labor organizations affiliated with the International in their 
original form, and created a General Council for the admin- 
istration of the international affairs of the association. The 
council was to be composed of delegates from the various 
nationalities represented in the International, and its func- 
tions were : to serve as a medium between the working men 
of different countries, to arbitrate all international disputes 
betweeii labor organizations, to keep the members informed 
on the progress of the labor movement in all countries, to 
compile and publish international labor statistics and other 
useful information, etc. 

The International, in the forceful language of Frederick 
Engels, was to be " an association of working men embracing 
the most progressive countries of Europe and America, and 
concretely demonstrating the international character of the 
socialist movement to the working men themselves as well as 
to the capitalists and governments — to the solace and encour- 
agement of the working class, and to the fear of its enemies." 

The platform or declaration of principles is a brief exposi- 
tion of the fundamental thesis of modern socialisrii ; it was 
never modified by the International, and has been adopted 
by several socialist parties as their national platform. 

We reproduce it here verbatim : 

" In consideration that the emancipation of the working 
class must be accomplished by the working class itself, that 
the struggle for the emancipation of the working class does 
not signify a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but 
for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of class rule ; 


" That the economic dependence of the working man upon 
the owner of the tools of production, the sources of life, 
forms the basis of every kind of servitude, of social misery, 
of spiritual degradation, and political dependence ; 

" That, therefore, the economic emancipation of the work- 
ing class is the great end to which every political movement 
must be subordinated as a simple auxiliary ; 

"That all exertions which, up to this time, have been 
directed toward the attainment of this end have failed on 
account of the want of solidarity between ' the various 
branches of labor in every land, and by reason of the ab- 
sence of a brotherly bond of unity between the working 
classes of different countries ; 

" That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a 
national, but a social problem, which embraces all countries 
in which modern society exists, and whose solution depends 
upon the practical and theofetical cooperation of the most 
advanced countries ; 

" That the present awakening of the working class in the 
industrial countries of Europe gives occasion for a new hope, 
but at the same time contains a solemn warning not to fall 
back into old errors, and demands an immediate union of the 
movements not yet united ; 

"The First International Labor Congress declares that 
the International Working-Men's Association, and all socie- 
ties and individuals belonging to it, recognize truth, right, 
and morality as the basis of their conduct toward one another 
and their fellow men, without respect to color, creed, or na- 
tionality. This Congress regards it as the duty of man to 
demand the rights of a man and citizen, not only for himself, 
but for every one who does his duty. No rights without 
duties ; no duties without rights." ^"^^ 

The active career of the International embraced a period 
of about eight years, from 1864 to 1872, and the zenith of its 
power and influence was reached toward the end of the 


The organization of the International was rather loose, 
and it is barely possible to estimate the number of its adher- 
ents at any time with any degree of accuracy. But it was 
certainly the most extensive and influential labor organization 
of its time. It had numerous branches in France, England, 
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Por- 
tugal, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, as well as in Australia and 
in the United States of America. 

The European press, which had started by treating the 
existence of the International as a joke, soon took alarm at 
the growth of the organization, and inaugurated a crusade 
against this " great European menace to organized society." 
In the eyes of the frightened bourgeoisie the International 
became a widely ramified secret society, with boundless re- 
sources at its command, busily engaged in a conspiracy to 
inaugurate an immediate political revolution in all countries 
of Europe. The most adventurous and fantastic accounts 
of the powers and doings of the International were published 
and circulated, and almost every great labor struggle and 
every political and social event of the time were laid at its door. 

But the International never was a conspiratory society, 
and its influence on European politics and on the interna- 
tional labor movement was purely moral. Its main signifi- 
cance consisted in establishing closer and more harmonious 
relations between the working men of different countries and 
in the deliberations of its conventions. These conventions, 
in which the labor organizations of the principal European 
countries were often represented by their ablest thinkers 
and most influential leaders, were six in number, and they 
were held at the following places and dates : 



3 to 9, 1866 



2 " 8, 1867 



6 " 13, 1868 

Basle, . 


5 "11, 1869 



2 " 7> 1872 



8 " 13. 1873 


The number of delegates at the conventions of the Inter- 
national ranged from sixty to one hundred, and the subjects 
which occupied their attention included: Strikes, Reduc- 
tion of Hours of Labor, Minimum Rate of Wages, Woman 
and Child Labor, Cooperative Industries, Trade-Unions, 
Direct Taxation, Standing Armies, Freedom of the Press, 
the Unemployed, Machines and their Effect, Division of 
Labor, the Functions of the State, Public Service, Means of 
Transportation and Communication, the Right to Punish, 
Attitude of the Working Class toward War, Ownership in 
Land, Grievances of Working Men, Right of Inheritance, 
Mutual Aid and Credit of Working Men, Political Action of 
the Working Class, and many other questions of interest to 
the labor movement. The discussions at the conventions 
were, as a rule, thorough and instructive, and the resolutions 
on the subjects passed by the International are a most valu- 
able contribution to the history of the development of modern 
socialist thought. 

Karl Marx was the leading spirit of the International 
from the start, and his policy and views maintained undis- 
puted sway in the organization until about the Basle conven- 
tion of 1869, when an opposition to Marx and Marxism was 
manifested for the first time, the opposition being led by 
the famous apostle of revolutionary anarchism — Michael 

Bakounin was one of the most peculiar characters pro- 
duced by the stormy political atmosphere of the middle of 
the nineteenth century ; he seems to have been as energetic, 
eloquent, and daring as he was ambitious, inconsistent, and 
changeable ; and even now, more than a quarter of a century 
after his death, the most conflicting accounts of his character 
and motives are current. The scion of a highly aristocratic 
Russian house, he devoted himself to the study of German 
philosophy early in life. He was identified with every revo- 
lutionary movement in France, Germany, Austria, and Rus- 
sia before 1848, and was placed in charge of the defense of 


Dresden upon the occasion of the Saxon revolt in 1849. 
Captured and condemned to death, he was saved by the suc- 
cessive demands of Austria and Russia for his extradition 
on the ground of their prior rights of execution. He was 
extradited to Russia and banished to Siberia, whence he 
made his escape, arriving in London in 1 860. His restless 
activity was from now on divided between the agitation of 
Panslavism and a peculiar brand of revolutionary anarchistic 
communism. In 1868 he founded the "Alliance Interna- X 
tionale de la Democratic Socialiste," a society partly open, 
partly secret, with a highly centralized organization, having 
for its aim the destruction of all present forms of govern- 
ment and industry, and the introduction of a social system 
founded on autonomous cooperative agricultural and indus- 
trial associations. In 1868 the Alliance made application for 
admission into the International as a body, but the applica- 
tion was rejected by the General Council on the ground that 
the views of the Alliance were not in harmony with those of 
the International. An intense and bitter feud between the 
two organizations was now waged until the Hague convention 
of the International in 1872, when Bakounin was expelled 
from the latter organization, as a result of which the Span- 
ish, Belgian, and Jurassian federations seceded from the In- 
ternational and joined the Alliance. At the same time the 
Hague convention decided to transfer the seat of the Gen- 
eral Council from London to New York. 

The removal of the chief executive organ of the Interna- 
tional far away from the center of the labor movement prac- 
tically amounted to a suspension of the existence of the 
association, and such keen tacticians as Marx and the other 
advocates of the measure could certainly not have failed to 
perceive it. The step was taken deliberately. 

At this stage of its career the International had practically 
outlived the period of its usefulness ; its principal aim had 
been to educate the working class of different nationalities 
to a uniformity of thought and action, and that object was 


substantially accomplished. To continue the formal organi- 
zation of the International had become impracticable in view 
of the growing dimensions of the national labor movements, 
and dangerous in view of the designs on it on the part pf 
Bakounin and his adherents. 


The influence of the International on the labor movement 
in the United States was exercised through two distinct 
channels: the outspoken socialists, principally of foreign 
birth, afHliated with the association directly by means of 
branch organizations established in various places of the 
country, and the indigenous American labor movement was 
reached by its agitation principally through the medium of 
the National Labor-Union. 

We shall describe the latter first. 

Immediately upon the close of the civil war a strong 
trade-union movement developed in the United States. New 
local and national organizations sprang up in almost every 
trade, but there was as yet no common bond between these 

The subject of consolidating the forces of organized labor 
in the United States was frequently discussed among the 
leaders of the movement, and the Machinists' and Black- 
smiths' Union at its annual convention of 1863 finally took 
the initiative by appointing a committee "to request the 
appointment of similar committees from other national and 
international trade-unions, to meet them fully empowered to 
form a national trades' assembly." The matter was, however, 
not acted upon by the other trade-unions until March, 1866, 
when a preliminary conference of a number of men promi- 
nent in the movement was held in New York for the pur- 
pose of considering the proposition anew. The conference 
issued a call for a convention to be held in Baltimore in 


August of the same year, and the convention met accord- 
ingly. It was an earnest and enthusiastic gathering of work- 
ing men, over sixty organizations being represented by dele- 
gates. Committees were appointed to submit resolutions on 
the various topics discussed at the convention, and the de- 
bates on the proposed resolutions were at times very stormy. 
Of great interest in connection with these debates is the 
appearance on the floor of the convention of a German so- 
cialist of the Lassallean school, Edward Schlegel by name. 
1 Schlegel represented the German Working Men's Associa- 
tion of Chicago, and was the first to broach the subject of 
the formation of an independent political labor party. His 
address on the subject was eloquent and persuasive. "A 
new party of the people must be in the minority when it first 
comes into action," he said among other things, " but what 
of that .' Time and perseverance will give us victory ; and if 
we are not willing to sacrifice time and employ perseverance, 
we are not deserving of victory. A new party must be 
formed, composed of the element of American labor. We 
are shy of fighting the old political parties, but should not 
be. If we are right, let us go ahead. The Free-Soil Party 
originated with a few thousand votes ; but if it had not been 
formed, Lincoln would never have been President of the 
United States. ... A political question is one that is de- 
cided at the ballot-box, and here must this question be met." 
Altho no immediate steps looking toward the formation of a 
political labor party were taken by the convention, the im- 
passioned appeals of Schlegel made a deep impression on 
the delegates, who elected him vice-president at large in at- 
testation of their " appreciation of his views and abilities." 

The first convention of the International at Geneva took 
place within less than two weeks from the convention of the 
National Labor-Union above described, and the topics dis- 
cussed and results arrived at by the two conventions are so 
similar in many respects as to give rise to the belief that 
both were acting upon a common and preconcerted plan. 


Both conventions discussed the subjects of trade-unions,; 
strikes, woman and child labor, and cooperative industries, and 
the stand of the National Labor-Union on the questions, 
altho less analytical and scientific than that of the Inter- 
national, was substantially in accord with it. Still more 
striking is the resemblance between the attitude of both 
bodies on the question of the reduction of the hours of labor. 
The resolution adopted by the National Labor-Union on 
that subject read as follows : 

" Resolved, That the first and grand desideratum of the 
hour, in order to deliver the labor of the country from 
the thraldom of capital, is the enactment of a law whereby 
eight hours shall be made to constitute a legal day's work in 
every State of the American Union. We are firmly deter- 
mined to use every power at our command for the achieve- 
ment of this glorious aim." 

The resolution of the International on the same subject 

" The legal reduction of the hours of labor is a prerequi- 
site without which all attempts to improve the condition of 
the working class and to ultimately emancipate it will fail. 
It is just as necessary to restore the health, physical 
strength, and energy of the working class — the great major- 
ity of every nation — as it is to secure to it the possibility to 
develop intellectually and to act .socially and politically. 
The convention, therefore, proposes that eight hours be 
made to constitute a legal day's work. The shortening of 
the work-day is now being generally demanded by the work- 
ing men of America; we demand it for the working men of 
the entire world." 

But the similarity of the proceedings of the two conven- 
tions is only to be accounted for by the similarity of the 
conditions of the working men on both sides of the Atlantic^ 
otherwise there was at that time no connection between the 
two bodies. 

The first allusion to the existence of the International 


was made at the second convention of the National Labor 
Union held in Chicago in August, 1867. The convention 
was much better attended than the first, the number of dele- 
gates exceeding 200, and the interest in its proceedings was 
heightened by the presence of the man who was for a time 
destined to play the most important part in the councils of 
the organization — William H. Sylvis. 

Sylvis's influence on the labor movement of the period 
under discussion was so great that a brief biographical 
sketch of him will not be out of place here. 

William H. Sylvis was born in the village of Armagh, 
Pennsylvania, on the 26th day of November, 1828, as the 
second son of a journeyman wagon-maker. His parents were 
too poor to give him any education, and at the age of eleven 
years he was hired out as some sort of domestic and general 
farm-hand to a certain Mr. Pawling, who first taught him the 
alphabet. At the age of eighteen he learned the trade of 
iron molding, and in 1857 he joined the Iron Holders' 
Union of Philadelphia, which had then been recently organ- 
ized. From that time on and until the day of his death, Syl- 
vis was ever active in the trade-union movement. Wherever 
an enterprise or struggle of any magnitude was undertaken 
by working men of his trade, Sylvis was sure to be found in 
the front ranks of the movement, and his name is identified 
with almost every important phase of the trade-union history 
of that period. 

In 1859 a national convention of iron molders was called 
on the suggestion of Sylvis, who was also the author of the 
address issued by the convention to the iron molders of the 
United States. 

The address was a brief and pithy document, and a remark- 
able attestation of the keenness of intellect and eloquence of 
style of this humble working man with no educational advan- 
tages worth mentioning. 

" In all countries," is one of the remarks of the address, 
" and at all times, capital has been used by those possessing 


it to monopolize particular branches of business, until the / 
vast and various industrial pursuits of the world have been C 
brought under the immediate control of a comparatively, 
small portion of mankind." 

And again : 

" What position are we, the mechanics of America, t^ hold 
in society ? Are we to receive an equivalent for otir labor 
sufficient to maintain us in comparative indepe»:idence and 
respectability, to procure the means with which to educate 
our children, and qualify them to play their part in the 
world's drama ; or must we be forced to bow the suppliant 
knee to wealth, and earn by unprofitable toil a life too void 
of solace to confirm the very claims that bind us to our 

Sylvis was elected successively treasurer and president of 
the national union, and, after the organization had been con- - 
siderably demoralized by the war excitement, the arduous 
task of reorganizing it also fell to his lot. " During this 
period," relates his brother,* " Sylvis wore clothes until they 
became quite threadbare, and he could wear them no longer; 
the shawl he wore to the day of his death was filled with 
little holes, burned there by the splashing of the molten iron 
from the ladles of molders in strange cities, whom he was 
beseeching to organize, and more than once he was com- 
pelled to beg a ride from place to place on an engine, be- 
cause he had no money sufficient to pay his fare." 

The extraordinary efforts of Sylvis were crowned by suc- 
cess, and within a short time the Iron Molders' National >; 
Union was one of the strongest and most prosperous labor 
organizations in the country. 

Sylvis took an active and prominent part in the formation 
of the National Labor-Union, but sickness prevented him 
from attending the first convention of that body. 

In the Chicago convention of 1 867 he played a leading 

*"The Life, Speeches, Labors, and Essays, of William H. Sylvis," 
by his Brother, James C. Sylvis, Philadelphia, 1872, 


part. The ^ji,i|btion of the formation of an independent 
labor party wa* again broached by Sylvis, who advocated the 
measure with his customary logic and vigor, but the majority 
of the delegates were as yet not ready for so radical a step, 
and the proposition was voted down on a pretty close vote. 

The subject of establishing official connections with the 
European International was also discussed, and strongly 
advocated by the president of the union, Jessup, and by 
Sylvis, who had already, on a previous occasion, expressed 
himself on the subject in the following language : " At this 
hour a struggle :s going on in the Old World, the result of 
which will be the social and political emancipation of en- 
slaved millions. . . . Need I tell you that the interests of 
labor are identical throughout the world .? ... It is a matter 
of vital importance that an equilibrium of wages should be 
established throughout the world. Hence both our sym- 
pathies and interests are enlisted in favor of the great reform 
movement abroad. A victory to them will be a victory to 
us ; and the news of their triumph shall be heard across the 
Atlantic ; the working men of America will ring out shouts 
of triumph from Maine to California." 

The convention, however, decided not to join the Interna- 
tional, and disposed of the subject by the adoption of the 
following resolution : 

" Whereas, The efforts of the working classes in Europe 
to acquire political power, to improve their social conditions, 
and to emancipate themselves from the bondage under which 
they were and still are, are gratifying proof of the progress 
of justice, enlightenment, and civilization; 

"Resolved, That the National Labor Convention hereby 
declares its sympathies, and promises its cooperation to the 
organized working men of Europe in their struggle against 
political and social injustice." 

The third convention of the National Labor-Union was 
held in New York in August, 1868. By this time the or 
ganization had largely grown in numbers, influence, and 


power, and a number of professional politicians had sue- , , 
ceeded in gaining access to its councils. 

But the leading spirit of the convention was Sylvis, and '• f 
his pet idea — the establishment of an independent labor party ' 
— was at last realized ; the National Reform Party was or- 
ganized amid deafening cheere'ortEFnum^ous delegates of .yi; 
the convention. '' 

Sylvis was elected president of the organization, and it 
was he also who drafted its platform. The document was 
patterned after the Declaration of Independence; it dwelt 
at some length upon the rights of labor, and devoted much 
space to the discussion of monetary reforms in the sense of 
Kellog and the Greenback Party, under whose influence 
Sylvis had fallen. 

A new and fruitful field of activity was now opened to 
Sylvis, who set himself to the task of building up the new 
party with his customary earnestness and vigor. Hardly a 
labor meeting of any significance was held anywhere in the 
country without a letter or circular being received from the 
indefatigable agitator and organizer. 

" The organization of a new party — a working man's party 
— for the purpose of getting control of Congress and the 
several State legislatures, is a huge work, but it can and 
must be done." He proclaimed in one of his circulars, " We 
have been the tools of professional politicians of all parties 
long enough ; let us now cut loose from all party ties, and 
organize a working man's party founded upon honesty, 
economy, and equal rights and privileges of all men." 

And in another circular : 

" Our people are being divided into two classes — the rich 
and the poor, the producers and the non-producers. 

" The working people of our nation, white and black, male 
and female, are sinking to a condition of serfdom. Even 
now a slavery exists in our land worse than ever existed 
under the old slave system." 

Since the organization of the Labor Reform Party, Sylvis 


had been in correspondence with leading members of the 
European International, and had strongly developed in the 
direction of modern socialism. In a letter to the General 
Council at about that time he wrote : 

" Our aim is a common one — it is the war between poverty 
and riches. Our last war has resulted in the development 
of an infamous moneyed aristocracy. This money power is 
rapidly consuming the power of the people. We are com- 
bating it, and hope to be victorious." And the General 
Council of the International was not slow in responding to 
these advances. In May, 1869, it addressed an open letter to 
the National Labor-Union, of which we quote the following 
portion : 

" In our address of felicitation to Mr. Lincoln on the occa- 
sion of his reelection to the presidency of the United States, 
we expressed our conviction that the civil war will prove 
as important to the progress of the working class as the War 
of the Rebellion had been for the progress of the bourgeoisie. 

" And actually the victorious termination of the antisla- 
very war has inaugurated a new epoch in the annals of the 
working class. In the United States an independent labor 
movement has since sprung into life, which is not being 
viewed with much favor by the old parties and the profes- 
sional politicians." 

The address was followed by a formal request to the Na- 
tional Labor-Union to send delegates to the next convention 
of the International, to be held at Basle in 1869. 

Another connecting link between the National Labor- 
.;*-*'^-? Union and the European Socialist movement were the Ger- 
man labor organizations of the United States. 

Already, in 1866, a number of German trade-unions in the 
city of New York had organized a central body under the 
name " Arbeiter Union " (Working-Men's Union), and two 
years later the organization commenced the publication of a 
paper under the same title, Arbeiter Union, which gradually 
acquired much influence in the German labor movement. 

)'">: ./ 


When the Labor Reform Party was organized, the Arbeiter 
Union supported it, but at the same time it pubhshed reports 
of the proceedings of the International, and by degrees fell 
under the influence of socialism. Especially was that the 
case when the editorial charge of the paper was assumed by 
Dr. Adolph Douai. 

Douai had a very eventful career behind him. Bom in 
Altenburg, Germany, in 181 9, he received an excellent edu- 
cation, and devoted himself to his chosen vocation, that of 
teaching. He took an active part in the revolution of 1848, 
was captured, tried, and imprisoned, and in 1852 he emigrated 
to Texas. He founded a small paper in San Antonio, which 
was written, set, printed, and distributed by him without any 
outside help, so that he was often compelled to work 100 
hours a week. The paper was devoted to the cause of aboli- 
tion, and its editor was, on that account, often subjected to 
persecutions and ill treatment by the mob After three 
years of struggle, Douai was compelled to leave San Antonio, 
but the negro population of Texas always bore him a grate- 
ful memory for his devotion to their cause, and in 1868 he 
received a newspaper with the following announcement 
printed in bold type at the head of the first column : 

" This paper, edited and set by negroes, is being printed 
on the same press from which Dr. Douai for the first time 
advocated the emancipation of the negroes in Texas. Let 
this serve him as a token 'of gratitude of the colored race 
that they preserve the memory of his efforts for their free- 

During the following ten years Douai again took up his 
interrupted pedagogic labors in Boston, Hoboken, and New 
York, until he was elected to the editorship of the Arbeiter 
Union in 1 868. Later on, Douai became one of the leading 
exponents of Marxian socialism in the United States, and 
was one of the most valued members of the editorial staff of 
the New Yorker Volkszeitung from 1878 to 1888. The 
Arbeiter Union, however, was only his d^but in the practical 


labor movement, and his views were not yet quite clear on 
all points. 

His support of the platform of the National Labor Party 
and advocacy of the principles of the International at one 
and the same time were frequently criticized as inconsistent ; 
but be that as it may, his paper contributed materially to the 
establishment of friendly relations between the two move- 
ments, and these relations were strengthened still further 
when the General German Working-Men's Association joined 
the National Labor-Union in February, 1869. 

The fourth convention of the National Labor-Union and 
Labor Reform Party thus approached with every prospect of 
a definite union being established between that body and the 
International, but the progress of the tendency in that direc- 
tion was suddenly checked by an unexpected event — on the 
27th day of July, 1869, Sylvis died after a brief illness. 

Ordinarily the life or death of a single individual matters 
little in a great social or political movement, but at a time 
when a young movement has arrived at the critical point of 
the parting of the ways, and the masses are uneducated and 
inexperienced, and easily led into any direction, the loss of a 
clear-minded, energetic, and honest leader is a great blow. 
And such was undoubtedly the effect of Sylvis's death on 
the further career of the American Labor-Union. That the 
International fully appreciated the loss is evidenced by the 
memorial of the General Council, which concluded with 
these words : 

" That the American labor movement does not depend on 
the life of a single individual is certain, but not less certain 
is the fact that the loss sustained by the present labor con- 
vention through the death of Sylvis can not be compensated. 
The eyes of all were turned on Sylvis, who, as a general of 
the proletarian army, had an experience of ten years outside 
of his great abilities — and Sylvis is dead." 

The premature death of its leader proved fatal to the 
progress of the National Labor-Union. 


Sylvis did not leave a single successor in the ranks of the 
organization of sufficient intelligence and power to inocu- 
late in the young movement the substance and spirit of the 
International — the distinctness of labor interests, and the 
German socialists of the United States had too little influ- 
ence on the American labor movement to guide its political 

At the fourth convention of the National Labor-Union, 
held at Philadelphia in August, 1869, it was decided to send 
an official representative to the Basle convention of the 

A. C. Cameron was elected delegate, and attended the 
convention of the International, where he gave grossly exag- 
gerated accounts of the strength of the organization repre- 
sented by him, but did not otherwise participate in the delib- 
erations of the convention. 

The only prominent member of the National Labor-Union 
who remained in active correspondence with the Interna- 
tional after Sylvis's death was Jessup, and it was he who, at 
the fifth convention of the organization, held at Cincinnati in 
August, 1870, procured the passage of the following resolu- 
tion : " The National Labor-Union declares its adherence to 
the principles of the International Working-Men's Associa- 
tion, and expects to join the said association in a short time." 

But the National Labor-Union never joined the Interna- 
tional, and never developed into a genuine class-conscious 
working men's party. 

The further fate of the National Labor Party, and with it 
the Labor Reform Party, was the common fate of all inde- 
pendent political parties formed by trade-unions before and 
after it. As soon as it acquired any appreciable strength, it 
was invaded by professional politicians, who entangled it in 
alliances with other political parties ; its platform was gradu- 
ally watered, its class character obliterated, its identity 
obscured, and finally it merged into one of the dominant 
political parties. ' ,j 


The dissolution of the National Labor-Union was, besides, 
'Accelerated by a series of ill-fated strikes, which weakened 
the labor movement in the United States. In January, 1 871, 
the leaders of the movement met at Washington to discuss 
a plan of campaign. In view of the decreasing interest in 
the movement on the part of the industrial working men, it 
was decided to enlist the sympathies of the farmers by 
adopting some farmers' planks in the platform. The result 
of the change was, that the strongest trade-unions withdrew 
from the iNfational Labor-Union, and when its regular annual 
session coiavened at St. Louis in August of the same year, 
it was attended by only twenty-one delegates. Like crows 
at the scent of a cadaver, the professional reformers gathered 
around the political corpse. In this case it was Wendell 
Phillips and Benjamin Butler who officiated at the funeral 
services of the erstwhile strong and protnising labor organi- 
zation. The platform adopted by the (prevention under their 
influence was the usual stock-in-trade of the middle-class 
reformer. Two more attempts were-. made to revive the 
movement, conventions for that purpose being called in 
1 873 at Columbus and in 1 874 at Rochester, but the conven- 
tions evoked no interest or enthusiasm in the working class, 
and the National Labor-Union passed out of existence. 



The first organizations directly affiliated with the Interna- 
tional appeared in the United States around the year 1868. 
They were small societies in New York, Chicago, and San 
Francisco, composed almost exclusively of German social- 
ists, and styled " sections " of the International. 

In New York the movement was inaugurated by a call 
issued in December, 1867, for a mass meeting to be held in 
the Germania Assembly Rooms, on the Bowery, in January, 
1868. The call was signed by C. Carl, E. Eilenberg, A. 


Kamp, F. Krahlinger, and C. A. Petersen, all of whom were 
men of influence in German labor circles, and the meeting 
was well attended. 

After a thorough discussion of the political situation, it 
was decided to organize an independent political labor party, 
and The Social Party of New York and Vicinity was 
accordingly formed. 

The party adopted a platform which was a sort of a com- 
' promise between the declaration of principles of the Inter- 
national and the platform of the National Labor-Union, and 
appointed two executive boards — one an English-speaking, 
and the other a German-speaking — who together formed the 
political campaign committee of the party. The Social 
Party nominated an independent ticket at the elections of 
1868, but its vote seems to have been very insignificant. 

Immediately after this, its first and last campaign, the 
party dissolved, and some of its most active and intelligent 
members organized the " General German Laibor Associa- 
tion " (Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein). 

This was the first strictly Marxian organization of some 
strength and influence on American soil, and the latest phase 
of the socialist movement in this country may be said to 
date from the organization of that society. 

"The members," relates Sorge,* "almost exclusively 
plain wage-workers of every possible trade, vied with each 
other in the study of the most difficult economic and politi- 
cal problems. Among the hundreds of members who be- 
longed to the society from 186910 1 874, there was hardly 
one who had not read his Marx ( ' Capital ' ), and more than 
a dozen of them had mastered the most involved passages 
and definitions, and were armed against any attacks of the 
capitalist, middle-class, radical, or reform schools." 

In February, 1869, the General German Working-Men's 
Association was admitted to the National Labor-Union, 

*"Die Arbeiterbewegung in den Vereinigten Staaten, 1867-1877," 
von F. A. Sorge. Neue Zeit, No. 13, 1891-92. 


receiving the name " Labor-Union No. 5 of New York." It 
was represented by delegates in the conventions of the Na- 
tional Labor-Union of 1869 and 1870, but withdrew from 
that body immediately after the latter convention. 

In the fall of 1869 the society joined the International 
Working-Men's Association as "Section i of New York," 
and all through the career of the International it has re- 
mained its strongest and most reliable branch in this country. 

Section i maintained active and friendly relations with a 
number of trade-unions and other labor organizations in this 
country, and was instrumental in the formation of other 
sections of the International in the United States. 

In 1870 a French section of the International was organ- 
ized in New York, and was followed by a Bohemian section 
in the fall of the same year. 

In 1868 a German section was formed in San Francisco, 
and one year later the German socialists of Chicago formed 
their first section. 

In December, 1870, the three New York sections of the 
International, by the direction of the General Council, formed 
a provisional Central Committee for the United States, and 
the movement commenced to make substantial progress. 
The warm reception accorded by the International to the 
Fenian leader, O'Donovan Rossa, upon his arrival at New 
York in 1871, had won for the organization the sympathies 
of many Irishmen ; the fall of the Paris Commune in the 
same year drove numerous radical Frenchmen to the shores 
of this country, where they were cordially welcomed by the 
International ; and finally the organization succeeded in reach- 
ing the ranks of American labor by its active support in the , 
numerous strikes of that year. 

The most significant of these strikes was that of the 
anthracite coal miners in Pennsylvania, which lasted over 
six months and involved over 30,000 men. 

Under these favorable circumstances the International 
spread rapidly. The number of sections grew within about 


one year from six to thirty or more, and the territory cov- 
ered by them embraced the cities of New York, Chicago, 
San Francisco, New Orleans, Newark, Springfield, Washing- 
ton, and Williamsburg. The total number of enrolled mem- 
bers was about 5,000, and they were composed of Americans, 
Irishmen, Germans, Frenchmen, Scandinavians, and Bohe- 
mians. " The International," says Sorge in his article already 
quoted, " had at that time become the fashion." The press 
devoted much space to its proceedings, its views and methods 
were discussed at public meetings, and even the United 
States Congress paid considerable attention to its doings. 
So Congressman Hoar, afterward Attorney-General in the 
Cleveland cabinet, in the course of a debate on the question 
of the appointment of a commission to investigate into the 
conditions of labor, quoted extensively and with approval 
from some resolutions adopted by the General Council of 
the International. 

This sudden popularity of the movement had, however, 
its reverses. 

Reformers of all shades invaded the International, each of 
them trying to utilize the organization for the propaganda of 
his or her peculiar social doctrines. Especially troublesome 
in this respect was one of the American sections of New 
York, known as Section 12. This section was dominated by 
the two sisters, Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin, 
women of culture and wealth, but of rather singular notions 
on many subjects, which they promulgated in their maga- 
zine. The Woodhull and Claflin s Weekly. 

Under the leadership of these ladies. Section 12, and after 
it. Section 9, set up a separate " American " movement in 
opposition to that of the "aliens," and centered its propa- 
ganda chiefly on woman's rights, free love, etc. 

"Section 12," complains the Federal Council of the In- 
ternational in an official document,* " finally proceeded on 
its own hook to issue an appeal to the English-speaking citi- 
•" Appeal to the Working Men of America," New York, 1872. 


zens of the United States for afEliation— an appeal famous for 
its ludicrous attempt to saddle the International with every 
imaginable visionary idea of issue, except the cause of labor, 
the name of which even does not seem to agree with that 
section's idea of euphony, since it is scarcely mentioned in 
that appeal of considerable length." 

This conduct provoked the dissatisfaction of the older sec- 
tions. Section i demanded the suspension of- Section 12, 
and was supported in that demand by the majority of the 
German and Irish sections. The American sections, two 
German, and the majority of the French sections, grouped 
themselves around Section 12, and as a result, the organiza- 
tion of the International was split. Section i and its adher- 
ents forming an independent Federal Council. 

Both sides submitted their grievances to the General 
Council of the International at London, which rendered its 
decision on the controversy in March, 1 872. By this decision 
Section 12 was suspended, and the administrative boards of 
both factions were directed to unite into one provisional 
committee until the next national convention, which was to 
establish definite regulations for the administration of affairs 
of the American sections of the International. The feud 
was thus ended. Section 12 still continued an independent 
existence for some time, but its doings became so ridiculous 
that it lost all influence on its former supporters in the ■ In- 
ternational. The last act in the career of Section 12 was 
the convocation of a convention of all " male and female 
beings of America," to be held at the Apollo Theater in 
New York on May nth. The convention met pursuant to 
call, and after discussing all possible kinds of reform, includ- 
ing the introduction of a universal language, wound up by 
nominating a ticket headed by Victoria WoodhuU as candi- 
date for the presidency of the United States. 

The first national convention of the International was 
held on the 6th day of July, 1872, at the city of New York 
Twenty-two sections were represented. The convention ' 


assumed the official name of North American Federation 
OF THE International Working-Men's Association, and 
adopted a set of rules and regulations for the government 
of its affairs. 

The executive functions of the organization were vested 
in a committee of nine, designated the Federal Council, 
and the council elected for the first year consisted of three 
Germans, two Frenchmen, two Irishmen, one Swede, and 
one Italian. 

The rules and regulations also provided that in every 
section to be formed in the future, at least three-fourths of 
the members should be wage- workers, and enjoined upon all 
sections " to entertain good relations with the trade-unions 
and to promote their formation." 

A new impetus was given to the American movement at 
about the same time by the transfer of the seat of the Gen- 
eral Council of the International from London to New York. 
The convention at The Hague elected to the council twelve 
members, of whom four were Germans, three Frenchmen, 
two Irishmen, one an American, one a Swede, and one an 
Italian. The council was headed by F. A. Sorge as general 
secretary. Sorge was well qualified for the duties of this 
responsible and delicate position. A veteran of the German 
revolution of 1848, and a personal friend and coworker of 
Marx and Engels, he arrived at this country in 1852, and by 
dint of his tact, abilities, and intimate knowledge of the labor 
question, he soon conquered for himself a position in the 
front ranks of the early socialist movement in this country. 

He was the leading spirit of the International in the 
United States, ever active in organizing new sections and in 
the direction of their activity, and his name is prominently 
connected with every phase of the movement of that period. 
In the later developments of the movement, Sorge was but 
little active, and he now leads a somewhat retired life at 
Hoboken, N. J. 

During the year following the events above described, the 


history of the International was devoid of any significant in- 
cidents. Some old sections disbanded, some new ones were 
organized, and on the whole the organization remained sta- 
tionary, if not somewhat stagnant. 

But toward the close of the next year the organization 
was again brought prominently before the public in connec- 
tion with the general labor troubles of the country. 

The collapse of the Northern Pacific in 1873 had caused 
an almost unprecedented financial and industrial panic in the 
United States. The destitution of the population in all in- 
dustrial centers grew alarming, especially during the cold 
winter season, and it was estimated that in the State of New 
York alone over 180,000 working men were left without 
means of subsistence. A lively agitation for the relief of 
the unemployed was inaugurated, and in the city of New 
York the German socialists stood at the head of the move- 
ment. The Arbeiter-Zeitung, official organ of the Interna- 
tional, published a plan for the relief of the unemployed 
which consisted of the following three points : 

1 . Employment of the unemployed on public works. 

2. Advances of money or food for at least one week to all 
who stand in need of it. 

3. Suspension of all laws for the dispossession of delin- 
quent tenants. 

A joint mass-meeting was subsequently held at the Cooper 
Union Institute by some sections of the International and 
some American trade-unions, and an executive committee 
was elected with instructions to take such further steps in 
the movement as it would deem expedient. 

Under the management of this committee, a number of 
public meetings were held, and a petition for relief was ad- 
dressed to the mayor. 

As the culminating point of the agitation, a gigantic 
demonstration in the form of a procession of unemployed 
was arranged to be held on the 13th day of January, 1874. 
It was the original plan of the committee that the parade 


should disband in front of the City Hall, but this was pro- 
hibited by the authorities, and Tompkins Square was chosen 
as the next best place for the purpose. 

At the appointed time the parade was formed. Crowds of 
working men from all parts of the city fell in line during its 
progress, and by the time it reached Tompkins Square it 
had swelled on to an immense procession. 

There was no sign of impending trouble ; the procession 
was orderly and peaceful, and the mayor of the city was ex- 
pected to address the assembled crowds and to suggest 
measures of relief. 

But no sooner had the paraders reached Tompkins Square 
than a large force of policemen, without provocation or 
warning, charged the crowd with drawn clubs, striking right 
and left, and during the ensuing general mel6e hundreds of 
working men were seriously injured. 

Several arrests were thereupon made, and the " offenders " 
were heavily punished for resistance to the police. 

The Tompkins Square incident caused a great deal of bit- 
ter feeling among the working men of New York. 

A demonstration of similar dimensions, but less disas- 
trous in results, took place at almost the same time in Chi- 
cago. That city was just recovering from the horrors of the 
famous conflagration, when the panic of 1873 threw it anew 
into a state of indescribable destitution. 

A movement for the relief of the unemployed, similar to 
that of New York, was organized by the Chicago sections of 
the International in conjunction with a few other labor or- 
ganizations. On the 2ist day of December, 1873, the lead- 
ers of the movement arranged a mass-meeting, in which over 
5,000 persons are said to have participated. Speeches were 
made in five languages, and a committee of eight was elected 
to submit the demands of the meeting to the City Council. 
To insure greater attention on the part of the city fathers, it 
was decided to give the delegation a mass escort of unem- 
ployed working men. 


On the next day the city of Chicago witnessed a most 
remarkable and unexpected spectacle. Early in the evening 
masses of working men assembled at the appointed place 
and formed themselves into lines. All Chicago seemed to 
be on its feet, and when the procession, headed by the dele- 
gation of eight, started for its destination, there were over 
20,000 persons in line. There seemed to be no commander 
or leader, but perfect order prevailed in the ranks, and the 
whole procession looked more like a well-drilled and disci- 
plined military body than a heterogeneous crowd of working 
men gathered at random over night. 

The demonstration had its effect on the City Council : the 
latter promised to do all in its power to comply with the 
requests of the unemployed, and invited the delegation for a 
conference on the subject on the following day. The prom- 
ises were not kept, the demonstration led to no practical 
results, but out of the movement grew a new socialist party 
— The Labor Party of Illinois, with a membership of 
over 2,000. 

Similar occurrences took place in other cities of the Union, 
notably in Philadelphia, Cincinnati; St. Louis, Louisville, and 
Newark, and the members of the International took an ac- 
tive part in the agitation and demonstrations of the unem- 
ployed in those cities. 

On the nth day of April, 1874, the second national con- 
vention of the American sections of the International was 
held at Philadelphia. 

The convention did not assemble under very auspicious 
circumstances. The recent events in the labor movement 
just described had given rise to sharp controversies as to 
the policy to be pursued in the future by the International. 
A large portion of the members, and among them some of 
the most active, advocated a greater degree of attention to 
the labor movement at home than abroad, and a more liberal 
interpretation of the Rules and Regulations of the Interna- 
tional, so as to permit of its cooperation with elements in 


the labor movement that could not be classed as socialistic 
in the scientific application of the term ; the older and more 
influential members, on the other hand, insisted on the pres- 
ervation of the old principles and methods of the Interna- 
tional in all their purity. 

The upshot of these controversies in Chicago was, the 
formation of a rival socialist party, the Labor Party of 
Illinois mentioned above. In New York several sections 
withdrew from the organization for the same Cause, and a 
few months later organized the Social Democratic Work- 
ing-Men's Party of North America. 

Under these circumstances, the attendance at the Phila- 
delphia convention was, as might be expected, rather poor. 
Only twenty-three sections sent delegates. It was pro- 
posed to transfer the seat of the Federal Council to Phila- 
' delphia or Baltimore, but neither of the two cities proved 
willing to accept the proffered honor, and the convention 
wound up by abolishing the office altogether, and vesting its 
functions in the General Council of the International. 

To prevent any abuse of power by the council, a Control 
Committee was appointed, with authority to investigate and 
pass upon any grievances against the official acts of that 

The attitude of the International toward political action 
in the United States was defined in the following resolution : 

" Considering that the emancipation of the working classes 
must be conquered by the working men themselves, 

" The Congress of the North American Federation has 
resolved : 

" The North American Federation rejects all cooperation 
and connection with the political parties formed by the 
possessing classes, whether they call themselves Republicans 
or Democrats, or Independents or Liberals, or Patrons of In- 
dustry or Patrons of Husbandry (Grangers), or Reformers, 
or whatever name they may adopt. Consequently, no mem- 
ber of the Federation can belong any longer to such a party. 


" The political action of the Federation confines itself gen- 
erally to the endeavor of obtaining legislative acts in the 
interest of the working class proper, and always in a manner 
to distinguish and separate the working-men's party from all 
the political parties of the possessing classes. 

" The Federation will not enter into a truly political cam- 
paign or election movement before being strong enough to 
exercise a perceptible influence, and then, in the first place, 
on the field of the municipality, town or city (commune), 
whence this political movement may be transferred to the 
large communities (counties, States, United States), accord- 
ing to circumstances, and always in conformity with the 
Congress Resolutions." 

The convention of 1874 failed to adjust the International 
to the existing conditions of the American labor movement, 
and, despite the apparent harmony of its proceedings, it had 
not succeeded in quelling the dissensions within its ranks. 

Shortly after the convention a controversy arose on the 
subject of the editorial management of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, 
the official organ of the International, established in 1873. 
Sorge and his adherents expressed dissatisfaction with the 
manner in which the paper was conducted, and offered some 
improvements. C. Carl, the editor of the paper, resented 
the criticism. The controversy grew heated and personal. 

Section i of New York, heretofore the strongest organi- 
zation in the International, sided with Carl, and, claiming 
the paper for its own, appointed a guard of ten men to 
protect its property against the General Council of the 

The latter retorted promptly by suspending the section. 
The matter was subsequently brought before the courts, 
the Arbeiter-Zeitung suspended publication, and the split in 
the ranks of the International became general. 

But if the progress of the International in the United 
States was unsatisfactory, it was still more so in the coun- 
tries of Europe — since the seat of the General Council was 


transferred from London to New York, the existence of the 
association in Europe was but nominal. 

In 1875 it was decided to dispense with the International 
convention planned to be held that year. 

"The condition of our association has steadily grown 
worse since the Geneva convention," complains the new 
General Council in a circular issued on that occasion. 
" More or less regular communications were had only with 
Zurich and London, and loose connections were maintained 
with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Of all former fed- 
erations, the North American is the only one to survive, and 
the existence of even this one is greatly impaired by internal 

" In most European countries, as France, Austria, Italy, 
Spain, Germany, Denmark, and others, our members and 
adherents are being persecuted to such a degree that even 
the most devoted of them have grown somewhat timid, and 
were compelled to abandon direct connections with us." 
The last convention of the International Working-Men's , 
Association was held in Philadelphia on the 1 5th day of July. 
1876. The convention stood in sad contrast to the reunions 
of the International in the period of its bloom : it was com- 
posed of ten delegates from the United States, and one, A. 
Otto-Walster, supposed to represent a group of members in 

To continue the nominal existence of the erstwhile power- 
ful international organization of labor under such circum- 
stances was not to be thought of; the organization had to 
be formally dissolved, and the delegates at once proceeded to 
the performance of the sad duty. 

The General Council of the International was abolished, 
and the archives and documents of the organization were 
entrusted to F. A. Sorge and C. Speyer, to be turned over 
by them to any new international labor-union to be formed 
in the future. Before adjourning, the convention adopted 
the following proclamation : 


" Fellow Woi'king Men : 

"The International convention at Philadelphia has abol- 
ished the General Council of the International Working- 
Men's Association, and the external bond of the organization 
exists no more. 

"'The International is dead!' the bourgeoisie of all coun- 
tries will again exclaim, and with ridicule and joy it will 
point to the proceedings of this convention as documentary 
proof of the defeat of the labor movement of the world. 
Let us not be influenced by the cry of our enemies ! We 
have abandoned the organization of the International for 
reasons arising from the present political situation of 
Europe, but as a compensation for it we see the principles 
of the organization recognized and defended by the progress- 
ive working men of the entire civilized world. Let us give 
our fellow-workers in Europe a little time to strengthen 
their national affairs, and they will surely soon be in a posi- 
tion to remove the barriers between themselves and the 
working men of other parts of the world. 

" Comrades ! you have embraced the principle of the In- 
ternational with heart and love ; you will find means to ex- 
tend the circle of its adherents even without an organization. 
You will win new champions who will work for the reali- 
zation of the aims of our association. The comrades in 
America promise you that they' will faithfully guard and 
cherish the acquisitions of the International in this country 
until more favorable conditions will again bring together the 
working men of all countries to common struggle, and the 
cry will resound again louder than ever : 

" ' Proletarians of all countries, unite ! ' " 

The prediction of this last convention of the International 
came true. Thirteen years later the first of a series of 
brilliant international socialist conventions was held at Paris, 
attended by 395 delegates from twenty countries in Europe 
and America. 



In the last chapter we had occasion to take passing notice 
of the formation of the Social Democratic Working-Men's 
Party of North America. This party was formally or- 
ganized on the 4th day of July, 1874, by several sections of 
the International which had withdrawn from the organiza- 
tion earlier in the year, in conjunction with some radical 
labor organizations of New York, Williamsburg, Newark, 
and Philadelphia. 

The party adopted a terse platform and declaration of 
principles which, as revised one year later, read as follows : 

" The Social Democratic Working-Men's Party seeks to 
establish a free state founded upon labor. Each member of 
the party promises to uphold, to the best of his ability, the 
following principles : 

" I. Abolishment of the present unjust political and social 

" 2. Discontinuance of all class rule and class privileges. 

" 3. Abolition of the working men's dependence upon the 
capitalist by introduction of cooperative labor in place of the 
wage system, so that every laborer will get the full value 
of his work. 

" 4. Obtaining possession of the political power as a pre- 
requisite for the solution of the labor question. 

"5. United struggle, united organization of all working 
men, and strict subordination of the individual under the 
laws framed for the general welfare. 

"6. Sympathy with the working men of all countries who 
strive to attain the same object." . 

The administration of the party affairs was vested in an 
executive board of five members and a " control committee " 
of nine. The first secretary of the board was A. Strasser, 
a cigar maker of New York, a man of great tact and energy. 


who played an important part in the sociaHst movement of 
this country during the period under consideration, but later 
devoted himself exclusively to the trade-union movement. 

In a measure as the International lost ground in the United 
States, the Social Democratic Party gained strength and 

Its second convention, held at Philadelphia on July 4th, 
5th, and 6th, 1875, was well attended. A number of new 
members had joined the party, among them some very active 
organizers and gifted agitators, such as P. J. McGuire, after- 
ward for a number of years General Secretary of the United 
Brotherhood of Carpenters ; R. A. Parsons, who subsequently 
turned anarchist and played a conspicuous part in the Chi- 
cago tragedy of 1886; and G. A. Schilling, an eloquent 
speaker and a man of considerable influence in Chicago 
labor circles. 

The party also, at about that time, published an English 
weekly in New York under the title The Socialist. 

The most important act of the second convention of the 
Social Democratic Working-Men's Party was the passing of 
a resolution instructing the executive board to use its good 
offices to bring about a union of all socialist organizations 
of the country. 

In the fall of 1875 several conferences were accordingly 
held in the city of New York to deliberate on the proposi- 
tion. These conferences were composed of J. P. McDonnell 
and D. Kronberg, representing the " United Workers," an 
independent organization of English-speaking socialists, at 
one time affiliated with the International ; and A. Strasser, 
McGregor, J. G. Speyer, and Hansen, representing the Social 
Democratic Working-Men's Party. The German-speaking 
sections of the International were represented on the confer- 
ence by Sorge, Bertrand, Leib, and Hesse, and the French 
section by the famous Icarian and Communard, A. Sauva. 

No definite results were accomplished by the conferences. 
In the mean while the scattered remnants of the National 


Labor-Union gathered themselves together in a last attempt 
to revive their movement. Upon the initiative of John 
Davis, editor of the National Tribune, and at one time 
presidential candidate of the N. L. U., a national convention 
was called for the purpose of forming a new political labor 
party. The convention was to be held at Pittsburg on the 
17th day of April, i876._ The socialists of the United States 
saw in this proposed convention a good opportunity for the 
strengthening of their movement, and representa;tives of 
their various parties and organizations b}' agreement assem- 
bled at Pittsburg on the eve of the convention. 

The convention of the National Labor-Union was com- 
posed of 106 delegates of the most heterogeneous political 
complexion, and was easily captured by the socialists among 
them, some twenty in number, who spoke and acted as a 
unit, had well-defined views, and knew how to express them. 

The victory had no practical significance, as the conven- 
tion adjourned without accomplishing anything, but it proved 
fruitful for the socialist movement in another direction — the 
various socialist groups assembled at Pittsburg agreed upon 
a plan of union, and arranged to hold a convention in the 
near future for the purpose of putting the plan into practical 
execution. The convention was held in Philadelphia from 
the 19th until the 22d day of July, 1876. 

The composition and strength of the convention were as 
follows : The North American Federation of the Interna- 
tional Working-Men's Association, with a membership of 
63s, was represented by F. A. Sorge and Otto Weydemeyer. 
The Social Democratic Working-Men's Party of North 
America, with a membership of 1,500, was represented by A. 
Strasser, P. J. McGuire, and A. Gabriel. The Labor Party 
of Illinois, with a membership of 593, sent C. Conzett ; and 
Charles Braun, who represented the Socio-Political Labor- 
Union of Cincinnati, claimed for the latter a membership 
of 250. 

Representatives from the Free -German Community of 


Philadelphia, the Slavonian Socio-Political Labor-Union of 
Cincinnati, and the Labor-Union of Milwaukee, were refused 
seats at the convention, on the ground that their respective 
organizations had not been represented on the Pittsburg 
conference. The work of the convention was commenced 
by formally consolidating the several organizations repre- 
sented into one party, under the name Working-Men's 
Party of the United States. 

At the head of the new party was placed a national execu- 
tive committee of seven. The committee was subject to 
the control of a " board of supervision " consisting of five 
members. The seat of the national committee was located 
at Chicago, that of the board of supervision at New Haven. 

The Socialist and Sozial Demokrat, heretofore published 
by the Social Democratic Working-Men's Party, were 
declared official organs of the new party, and their names 
changed to Labor Standard and Arbeiterstimme (Voice of 
the Working Men) respectively. The Vorboie (Haxhrnger), 
published in Chicago by the Labor Party of Illinois, was 
continued under the same name and also made an official 
party organ. 

J. P. McDonnell was elected editor of the Labor Stand- 
ard, C. Conzett editor of the Vorbote, the Arbeiterstimme 
was left under its former editorial management, and A. 
Douai was made assistant editor of all three papers. 

The platform adopted by the Working-Men's Party of the 
United States is a scientific and somewhat abstract exposi- 
tion of the cardinal points of Marxian socialism. 

In December, 1 877, at the second convention of the Work- 
ing-Men's Party, held at Newark, N. J., the name of the 
party was changed to Socialist Labor Party of North 


The Socialist Labor Party 




The Socialist Labor Party was the dominant factor in the 
socialist movement of this country for more than twenty 
years, and its variegated career forms the most intricate and 
interesting part of the history of American socialism. 

At the first glance it appears a series of incoherent events, 
ill-considered pohtical experiments, sudden changes of 
policy, incongruous alliances, internal and external strife, 
and a succession of unaccountable ups and downs, with no 
perceptible progress or gain. 

But the confusion is only apparent. On closer analysis 
we find a logical thread running all through the seemingly 
devious course of the party, and a good reason for every one 
of its seemingly planless moves. 

The difficulties which beset the path of the Socialist Labor 
Party were extraordinary. As one of the first socialist 
parties organized in this country on national scale, it had to 
cope with the usual adversities which attend every radical 
reform movement at the outset of its career — weakness and 
diffidence in its own ranks, hostility and ridicule from the 

But apart from these natural obstacles, the Socialist Labor 
Party suffered from one grave disadvantage peculiarly its 
own. In the countries of Europe the socialist movement 
sprang up in the midst of the native population and adjusted 
itself to the economic and political conditions of each coun- 
try quite mechanically and without effort. But in the United 
States the situation was altogether different. It is estimated 
that no more than ten per cent, of the members of the 
Socialist Labor Party, during the period described, were 



native Americans. All the rest, including the most active 
and influential leaders of the party, were men of foreign 
birth, insufficiently acquainted with the institutions, cus- 
toms, and habits of the country of their adoption, and fre- 
quently ignorant of its very language. 

Under these circumstances the pioneers of the movement 
soon realized the hopelessness of their task to effect radical 
social and economic changes in this country by their own 
efforts, and henceforward they considered it their special 
mission to acclimatize the movement and to leave its further 
development to the American working men. The endeavor 
to " Americanize " the socialist movement is the keynote to 
the activity of the Socialist Labor Party throughout its 
entire career. 

That the movement could not become " Americanized " 
before the great masses of the population, and especially the 
working men, were reached by the propaganda of socialism, 
was too obvious to admit of any dispute : the great question 
was, how to reach them most effectively. 

This question was at all times the subject of the most ani- 
mated discussions and heated controversies within the party, 
it shaped its policy, determined its actions, and was at the 
bottom of all its struggles. 

Surveying the field of American institutions, the founders 
of the Socialist Labor Party discovered two principal avenues 
through which they could expect to approach the native 
working men with the greatest chances of success — the trade- 
unions and political activity. 

On the continent of Europe, socialism had in some cases 
preceded and to a certain degree developed the trade-union 
movement, in other cases both movements had developed 
simultaneously and were regarded as a necessary comple- 
ment to each other, and on the whole the trade-unions were 
in full accord with the socialist movement. 

In the United States the trade-union movement sprang 
up before the socialist movement, and the Socialist Labor 


Party found it just entering on the period of its bloom. In 
1878 the first general assembly of the Knights of Labor 
was held, and the period of phenomenal growth of the order 
began. Three years later the Federation of Trade and 
Labor Unions, which subsequently developed into the Ameri- 
can Federation of Labor, was organized. 

In these two bodies, as well as in the numerous unaffiliated 
national and local trade-unions, hundreds of thousands of 
American working men were organized during the next few 
years. Their platforms were often radical, and in many 
points inclined decidedly toward socialism. In their meet- 
ings and conventions they discussed social problems, with 
particular reference to the relations of capital to labor, and 
in their oft-recurring strikes they were being trained in 
active battle against capital. No wonder then that the so- 
cialists saw in the trade-unions their natural allies, and that 
they strove to bring the two movements into close touch 
with each other. 

At almost every one of its conventions the Socialist Labor 
Party proclaimed its sympathy with the objects and methods 
of the labor-unions, and called upon its members to join the 
organizations of their trade; in a number of instances the 
party sought direct representation in the central bodies of 
oragnized labor; its official organs supported the trade- 
unions, and in many important strikes the socialists were 
found on the side of the strikers, aiding, counseling, and at 
times directing them in their battle. But notwithstanding! 
these efforts, the influence of the Socialist Labor Party on 
the trade-union movement was for a long time rather insignifi-j 
cant. The socialists were as yet numerically too weak to 
permeate the much-ramified labor movement and to shape 
its course as they had hoped to do, and voices were at times 
raised within the party protesting against its activity in the 
unions as a waste of time. 

These protests grew especially loud during the periods of 
industrial depression, when the efficiency of the trade-unions 


was greatly impaired. At such times the party would not 
infrequently assume an attitude of indifference, sometimes 
even hostility, to the trade-unions. Again, whenever the 
trade-unions came to the front owing to a wave of prosperity, 
the party would renew its activity among them. 

Hardly less varying were the fortunes of the party in the 
field of politics. 

Politics were at all times regarded by the socialists as an 
essential part of their movement. The issues of socialism 
are political in their nature ; the conquest of the political 
machinery is regarded by the socialists as a necessary pre- 
requisite to the realization of their social ideal ; they believe 
in the efficiency of legislative measures to correct economic 
abuses, and finally they regard political campaigns as great 
educating factors, and excellent opportunities for the dissemi- 
nation of new social theories among the populations at 

At the time of the organization of the Socialist Labor 
Party the socialists in Germany had already been in the 
political arena for about ten years, and had succeeded in 
uniting almost half a million voters under their banner, and in 
the United States, with its more democratic form of govern- 
ment and greater importance and frequency of elections, 
the opportunities were still more tempting. But how to go 
about it.? On this question the camp was divided for a 
number of years. One group, consisting principally of the 
native American element within the party and a number of 
former Lassalleans, advocated active and independent politics 
at all times, while others pointed at the weakness of the 
party and its poor chances of success as an independent 
political factor, and advised either to abstain from politics 
altogether until such time as the party would be strong 
enough to make a respectable showing at the polls, or to co- 
operate with other existing reform parties and endeavor to 
infuse into the latter as much of the doctrines of socialism 
as possible. And according to the political and economic 


situation of the country at any given time, either the one 
view or the other gained the ascendency in the party. 

A series of labor, troubles prepared by a period of indus- 
trial depression would create a sentiment favorable to radi- 
cal reform politics, and then the party would either nominate 
its own candidates, or, if a reform party had sprung up as a 
result of such sentiment, cooperate with it. In several 
places and at several times the Socialist Labor Party, alone 
or in conjunction with its political allies, succeeded in polling 
a comparatively large vote, but it had no means to follow up 
and retain its gains. A new wave of prosperity would strike 1 
the country, the spirit of discontent would subside, and the / 
socialist votes would disappear. 

Under these unpropitious circumstances, it is not to be 
wondered at that even the sturdiest and most optimistic 
among the socialists at times succumbed to the spirit of 
discouragement, while those of the weaker clay either with- 
drew from public life altogether, or sought a quieter haven 
in the ranks of the trade-union movement or the old political 

It was at the period of the greatest desolation in the so- / 
cialist camp that the specter of Anarchism loomed up in the / 
United States. Anarchism, with its negation of all laws of / 
social progress, its ridicule of reform measures, and its gospel / 
of violent destruction — anarchism, the general philosophy of I 
despair — had a peculiar fascination for the -discouraged and j 
disgruntled socialists of that period. The new doctrine 
threatened to make deep inroads in the ranks of the Socialist 
Labor Party, and to wipe out whatever little progress the 
young organization had made, by discrediting it in the eyes 
of the American working men. The Socialist Labor Party 
now had the additional task of combating anarchism, and for 
several years its efforts were diverted from the work of 
furthering its own movement to the struggle with the new 

The struggle was carried on relentlessly by both sides, 


and terminated only when anarchism had lost all influence 
on the labor movement in the United States. 

The manifold experiments, disappointments and struggles 
of the Socialist Labor Party, and the frequent changes of 
policy and methods of propaganda involved in or consequent 
upon them, could naturally not pass without effect on the 
relation of the members between themselves. Every new 
experiment gave rise to a heated controversy as to its expe- 
diency, every new failure was a fruitful source of discussion 
as to its causes, and the discussions were carried on with 
the earnestness characteristic of all adherents of a new faith 
or doctrine. At times these internal disputes filled the col- 
umns of the party papers for months and all other party 
work was temporarily lost sight of; at times the controver- 
sies were conducted with unnecessary bitterness and assumed 
a personal character ; and at times the diflferences transcended 
the bounds of mere controversies and developed into splits, 
on several occasions rending the party in twain. 

The assertion has, therefore, repeatedly been made, that 
the men of the Socialist Labor Party were a set of querulous 
individuals who wasted their time in mutual recriminations 
and accomplished little for their cause, 

Nothing can be more unjust than this opinion. 

When the founders of the Socialist Labor Party assumed 
the task of acclimatizing the socialist movement In this 
country, they undertook an enterprise of extraordinary diffi- 
culty and tremendous proportions. 

For almost a full generation they plodded away at their 
self-imposed task in the face of adversities which have no 
parallel in the history of the socialist movement in any other 
country. Their internal strifes were but the natural echo of 
their great struggles with the hostile surroundings, and may 
easily be pardoned ; and their courage, perseverance, and de- 
votion to the cause can not fail to arouse our admiration. 

In the socialist movement they performed a great mission. 
Through their trials and failures they evolved working 


methods of socialist activity, and through their ceaseless 
agitation they prepared the ground for a genuine American 
movement of socialism. 

The party had the misfortune of surviving the period of 
its usefulness, and its remnants brought in a shrill note of 
dissonance in the movement, but that does not alter the fact 
that the men of the Socialist Labor Party did the pioneer 
work of modern socialism in this country, and that the 
present socialist movement owes its existence largely to their 


I. Early Triumphs and Reverses 

The Socialist Labor Party commenced its career under 
rather favorable auspices. The extraordinary industrial 
activity which had developed after the close of the war was 
succeeded by the great financial panic of 1873. The acute 
stage of the panic subsided after a few months, but the 
financial depression continued for fully five years and caused 
an unprecedented degree of destitution among the population 
of the country. In the great industrial cities cases of death 
from starvation, not only of single individuals but of entire 
families, were reported by the police every week. During 
the winter of 1 877, the police stations were filled every night 
with crowds of working men and their families seeking shel- 
ter from the cold of the streets, and the police courts were 
besieged by men, women, and children imploring to be com- 
mitted to the workhouse. The number of the unemployed 
in the United States was estimated at no less than three 
millions. At the same time the wages of those who had 
employment were reduced from year to year, and in 1 877 
they were so low that the working men rebelled, and a series 
of strikes was inaugurated. The movement was quite spon- 


taneous ; it was an outbreak of despair rather than a planned 
and deliberate undertaking; the time was ill-chosen, the 
masses were unorganized and undisciplined, and the strikes 
were almost uniformly unsuccessful. 

The most significant of the series of these strikes, in point 
of size and the bitterness with which it was fought, was that 
of the railway employees. 

The construction of railroads had become a favorite form 
of investment and .financial speculation immediately after the 
termination of the civil war. Between the years 1867 and 
1877 about 25,000 miles of new railway tracks were laid, 
and in the latter year the railroads of the country were capi- 
talized for about ;g50o,ooo,ooo. The roads were frequently 
built on the mere expectation of the future development of 
the country, and without reference to the actual requirement 
of traffic. When the panic of 1 873 set in, the railroads, there- 
fore, were more affected by it than any other industry, and 
the men to suffer most were the employees. Between 1873 
and 1 877 the wages of railroad workers were reduced by an 
average of about twenty-five per cent., and in June, 1 877, the 
principal lines announced another reduction of ten per cent. 

It was to resist this last reduction that the strike was in- 
augurated. The first clash occurred at Martinsburg , W. Va., 
on the i6th day of July, but the movement soon became 
general, and in less than two weeks it had spread over seven- 
teen States. 

The first men to quit work were the machinists and 
switchmen of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and they 
were immediately joined by the locomotive engineers and 
other employees of the line. The management of the road 
soon succeeded in filling the places of the strikers, but when 
the new men attempted to move the cars, they were prevented 
by force. Two companies of the state militia sent by the 
Governor were powerless to cope with the situation, and 
the regular troops to the number .of 250, sent by President 
Hayes to the seat of the battle, had no better results. ' 


No serious disorders, however, occurred in West Virginia, 
but in Maryland, where the strike had broken out at the 
same time, a company of miUtia was greeted by the strikers 
and the crowds of their sympathizers with hooting and shouts 
of derision, which soon turned into active attack. Missiles 
were hurled at the militiamen, who retorted by opening a 
fusillade on the crowd, killing ten men and wounding many 
more. The shooting precipitated a riot; the militia was 
overpowered, rails were torn out, and cars burned. 

On the same day, July 19th, a series of disorders developed 
all along the system of the Pennsjdvania Railroad. There 
the movement was inaugurated by the switchmen, who 
struck against the introduction of the " double-heading " sys- 
tem. In the course of the day the switchmen were joined 
by the employees of the road in all other branches of the 
service, and the strikers now demanded not only the abolition 
of the " double-heading " systeih, but also the recall of the 
last ten per cent, reduction of wages. 

Toward the evening all freight traffic in Pittsburg was 
blocked. Large crowds of strikers paraded the streets of 
the city and were rapidly reenforced by the multitudes of 
the unemployed and dissatisfied labor population. The de- 
meanor of the masses grew more threatening from hour to 
hour, the local militia which was called into requisition by 
the sheriff refused to interfere, and 600 militiamen were 
sent from Philadelphia. But the arrival of the latter only 
served to increase the excitement of the crowd. A brief 
but fierce battle between the hostile camps ensued, and the 
defeated militiamen retired to the company's engine-room, 
where they barricaded themselves againfit the onslaughts of 
the strikers. There they passed a very uncomfortable night 
amidst the threatening shouts of the infuriated mob and the 
sound of the bullets whizzing past the windows. Early on 
the next morning they left Pittsburg and never halted on 
their retreat until they had reached Claremont, a point 
about twelve miles distant from the city. 


The crowds were now the undisputed masters of the situ- 
ation and their long-pent-up hatred against the railroad 
company, intensified and inflamed by the recent battle with 
the militia, vented itself in a wild crusade of destruction of 
the company's property. One thousand six hundred cars 
and one hundred and twenty locomotives are said to have been 
demolished by them in one day. 

Disorders of a more or less serious nature also occurred in 
different points of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and other States. 

In Reading, Pa., a large force of the militia was ordered 
out to combat the strikers, but here something quite unex- 
pected occurred. 

Most of the companies were composed of working men, 
who openly fraternized with the strikers, distributed their 
munitions among them, and threatened to turn their arms 
against all hostile militiamen. One company, however, re- 
cruited almost exclusively from the possessing classes, and 
led by a reckless officer, opened fire on the crowd, killing 
thirteen persons and wounding twenty-two. The effect of 
this unjustifiable act was to arouse the strikers and their 
sympathizers to fury ; the noisy but peaceful crowd turned 
?^into a wild and dangerous mob, freight trains were derailed, 
cars demolished, and bridges burned. The hostile militiamen 
were maltreated, and the majority of them managed to make 
their escape from the city only by changing their military 
uniforms for civil attire. 

Most singular of all, however, were the occurrences at 
St. Louis. There the excitement communicated itself to all 
classes of the labor population. The traffic on the bridge 
between East and West St. Louis was stopped, and all com- 
munication between the Eastern and Western States was 
thus interrupted; the slaughter-houses and factories were 
closed, and the strikers took full possession of the city. The 
socialists called a mass-meeting which was attended by thou- 
sands, and at which an executive committee was elected to 


protect the interests of the working men. Nobody ever knew 
who that executive committee really was. It seems to have 
been a rather loose body composed of whosoever chanced to 
come in and to take part in its deliberations. It had no defi- 
nite plan of action and limited its activity to tying up all the 
industries of the city. 

But such was the general excitement that the mysterious 
committee maintained the undisputed sway of the city for 
an entire week. Only when the general fear and excitement 
had somewhat subsided, the city administration, aided by the 
" leading citizens " of St. Louis, roused itself to some activity. 
A vigilance committee was formed in opposition to the 
executive committee, and finally the former, aided by the 
entire police force of the city and several companies of the 
militia, surrounded the headquarters of the executive com- 
mittee at Shuler's Hall, and forced the rebels to capitulate. 
Seventy-five persons were arrested in the raid, but all of 
them had to be released, as they appeared to be mere idlers 
and curiosity seekers in no way connected with the insurrec- 
tion. Of the much-feared " executive committee " no trace 
was found. 

The socialists of the United States had no part in the in- 
stigation of the labor troubles of 1877, but, on the other 
hand, they did not neglect the excellent opportunity to propa- 
gate their theories among the excited masses. They did not 
overestimate the significance of the strikes, and realized at 
the very outset that the movement was but a passing phase 
in the struggle between capital and labor. They were 
opposed to unnecessary acts of violence, and at the nu- 
merous mass-meetings called by them, they dwelt almost 
uniformly on the futility of planless revolts, and the neces- 
sity of organized and intelligent action of the working 

In Philadelphia the party decided to hold two mass-meet- 
ings " to discuss in a quiet and moderate manner the pending 
dispute between capital and labor, to express sympathy with 


the strikers, but to declare energetically against any destruc* 
tion of property." 

The socialists in New Jersey held several mass-meetings 
in Newark and Paterson. In Brooklyn a mass-meeting of 
2,000 working men, called by the local socialists, declared in 
favor of public ownership of railroads. 

In New York large mass-meetings were held under the 
auspices of the party on Tompkins Square and in the Cooper 
Union Institute. At the former fully 12,000 persons con- 
gregated. John Swinton addressed the meeting in English, 
and Alexander Jonas and Otto Walther in German. A 
resolution of sympathy with the strikers was adopted, which 
wound up with the declaration that it had become necessary 
" to form a political party with a platform based upon the 
natural rights of the working men, and with the aim of enact- 
ing legislation against the monopolies which oppress the 

In Chicago the strike agitation was conducted under the 
direct supervision of the party's National Executive Com- 
mittee, which had been organized immediately after the unity 
convention of 1876. Chief among the Chicago agitators 
were the party's national secretary, Phillip Van Patten, the 
chairman of the city committee. Schilling, and A. R. 

But the activity of the party was by no means limited to 
its agitation during the strike. The many labor troubles and 
the general condition of popular destitution of the period 
had made the minds of the working class more receptive to 
the teachings of socialism than ever before, and the socialists 
sought to take advantage of the situation by every means at 
their command. In all great industrial centers demonstra- 
tions were arranged, proclamations were issued, street-corner 
meetings were held, and some of the most eloquent speakers 
of the party — McGuire, Parsons, Savary, and many others — 
undertook extended and systematic lecture tours through 
the country. Socialist newspapers appeared in all parts of 


the United States and in many languages. Between 1876 
and 1877 no less than twenty-four newspapers, directly or 
indirectly supporting the party, were established. Of these, 
eight were in the English language, among them one a daily, 
the Star in St. Louis, and seven weeklies; The Labor 
Standard in New York, the Working-Metis Ballot and The 
Echo in Boston, The Social Democrat in Milwaukee, the 
Emancipator in Cincinnati, The Socialist in Detroit, and The 
Times in Indianapolis. The German press was represented 
by fourteen newspapers, of which no less than seven were 
dailies — the Chicago Sozialist and Chicago Volkszeitung in 
Chicago, Volksstimme des Westens in St. Louis, Die Neue 
Zeit in Louisville, the Philadelphia Tageblatt in Philadelphia, 
the Vorwaerts in Newark, and the Ohio Volkszeitung in 
Cincinnati; one, the Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung, appeared 
three times a week ; and six — the Arbeiterstimme of New 
York, Arbeiter von Ohio and Freiheitsbanner of Cincinnati, 
Neue Zeit and Vorbote of Chicago, and Vorwaerts of Milwau- 
kee — appeared weekly. 

The Bohemians had a weekly under the title Delnicke 
Listy, which was published in Cleveland, and the Scandina- 
vian members of the party published a Swedish weekly in 
Chicago under the title Djn Nye Tid. 

The energetic activity of the party, aided by the favorable 
conditions of the time, bore good fruit ; the organization 
grew rapidly in numbers and influence. 

On the 26th day of December, 1877, the first national 
convention of the party was opened at Newark, N. J., thirty- 
one sections being represented by thirty-eight delegates. 
The seat of the national executive committee was transferred 
from Chicago to Cincinnati, and Van Patten was reelected 
national secretary. The main changes effected by the con- 
vention were those relating to political action. The Unity 
Convention of 1876 had considered the principal mission of 
the newly organized party to be one of education and propa- 
ganda, and its platform and constitution were framed in 


accordance with that conception. The platform emphasized 
the superiority of the economic struggle over politics, the 
constitution contained no provisions as to the political action 
of the party or its subdivisions, and a separate resolution 
adopted on the subject expressly called " upon the members 
of the party, and all working men generally, for the time 
being to refrain from participation in elections, and to turn 
their backs upon the ballot-box." 

But the situation had greatly changed since that time : the 
rapid growth of the party, and its unexpected success at the 
ballot-box, had demonstrated to the socialists the importance 
and possibilities of politics, and had created a reaction in 
favor of it. The party was reorganized on the basis of a po- 
litical organization, and its platform and constitution were 
remodeled to meet the requirements of the new situation. 
It was this convention also which, as already stated, changed 
the party name from Working-Men's Party of the 
United States to Socialist Labor Party. 

The growth of the party continued unabated all during the 
next year, and in the beginning of 1879 the party consisted 
of about one hundred separate "sections" in twenty-five 
different States, with a total enrolled membership of about 
10,000. But at the same time another change in the indus- 
trial conditions of the country was already preparing. The 
period of industrial depression passed gradually away, and was 
succeeded by an era of prosperity. The works and factories 
of the country reopened their doors, new industries sprang 
up, the demand for labor increased, and wages rose. The 
general dissatisfaction which had made the working men so 
responsive to the appeals of socialism during the past two or 
three years rapidly subsided, and the socialist agitators found 
only scanty and indifferent audiences where they had for- 
merly met enthusiastic throngs. "The plundered toilers 
are rapidly being drawn back to their old paths, and are 
closing their ears to the appeals of reason. They are selling 
their birthright for a mess of pottage by rejecting the pros- 


pcct of future emancipation in their greed for the trifling 
gains of the present," lamented Van Patten. s 

The party was young and inexperienced at that time, and , 
its hold on its own membership was rather weak. With the ' 
returning wave of prosperity it disintegrated rapidly, and 
the efforts of its leaders to stem the tide of disorganization 
were of but little avail. Its membership fell off, its sections 
disbanded, and its press succumbed for lack of readers. Of 
the eight English party papers reported as existing at the 
Newark convention of 1877, not a single one survived in 
1879 . A new party organ in the English language, under 
the title of The National Socialist, was established in May, 
1878, and was with great sacrifices kept alive a little over 
one year. Of the German papers the Philadelphia Tage- 
blatt and the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and Vorbote of Chicago, 
were the only ones to survive the general wreck. 

In the beginning of 1878 the party press received, how- 
ever, a notable reenforcement by the establishment of the 
New Yorker Volkszeitung, a daily newspaper in the German 
language, devoted to the interests of the socialist and trade- 
union movement. The paper was edited with exceptional 
ability by a staff of the most efficient and experienced jour- 
nalists in the American socialist movement, including in its 
numbers Alexander Jonas and Dr. Douai, who have already 
been mentioned on these pages, and S. E. Schewitsch, a 
Russian of noble birth, who had received his education in 
Germany and England, and was an eloquent speaker and 
brilliant writer. On the death of Dr. Douai, a more than 
competent substitute was found in the person of Herrman 
Schlueter, a veteran in the socialist movement of both hemi- 
spheres, who still stands at the head of the Volkszeitung' s 
editorial management. 

The Volkszeitung from the very day of its appearance 
assumed a position of leadership among the socialist press 
of this country, and it has maintained this position ever since. 
Its good judgment and deliberate attitude have helped the 


party to sail safely through many a crisis in the early days 
of its career. 

On the 26th day of December, 1879, the second national 
convention of the Socialist Labor Party was opened at Alle- 
gheny City, Pa. Twenty sections were represented by 
twenty-four delegates. The total number of members of 
the party was not officially stated at the convention, but it 
certainly was distressingly small. According to a subse- 
quent report submitted by McGuire at the International 
Socialist Convention held at Chur, Switzerland, in 1881, it 
was about 2,600, and in the estimate of A. Strasser it was 
only 1,500.* 

The report of the national secretary on the work of the 
executive committee and standing of the party was rather 
cheerless in tone. The convention decided to recommend 
that a daily socialist paper under the title Union be estab- 
lished in the city of New York; it divided the territory of 
the United States into four geographical " agitation districts " 
for the purpose of socialist propaganda, made some minor 
changes in the constitution, and devoted the greater part of 
its deliberations to the question of the participation of the 
party in the presidential election of 1880. 

On the whole the Allegheny convention had accomplished 
but little toward raising the drooping spirit of the move- 
ment Toward the end of 1 880 and the beginning of 1881 
the socialist movement received some reenforcement by the 
arrival of several parties of political refugees from Germany. 
These were mostly men who had been active in the social 
democratic movement in their fatherland, and who for that 
reason had been exiled by the German government during 
the crusade against socialists inaugurated by the anti-socialist 
laws of 1878. They were warmly welcomed by their com- 
rades on this side of the ocean, and a number of public meet- 
ings were arranged for their reception. 

In August, 1880, the Social Democratic Party of Germany, 

•See "Sartorius von Waltershausen," p. 162. 


at its convention held in Castle Wyden, decided to send a 
deputation to the United States for the purpose of inform- 
ing the German-American working men of the condition of 
the party under the anti-socialist law, and collecting funds 
for the approaching elections to the German Diet. F. W. 
Fritsche and Louis Viereck, two socialist deputies to the 
German Imperial Diet, and popular speakers, were selected 
for that purpose, and they arrived in the United States in 
February, 1881. They were warmly welcomed not only by 
the party but also by a number of trade-unions and other 
labor organizations. They spoke at large mass-meetings 
before enthusiastic audiences in New York, Boston, Newark, 
Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Chicago, and other cities. As a 
rule their meetings were made the occasion for the general 
propaganda of socialism, and addresses in the English lan- 
guage were frequently interspersed with their German 
speeches. Thus the agitation tour of the German deputies, 
altho undertaken for a different purpose, had the effect of 
reviving the local socialist movement. 

But the revival was but temporary. As soon as the two 
German agitators left the shores of this country, the newly 
acquired members fell gradually off, and the party relapsed 
into its previous state of inaction. In December, 1881, the 
third convention of the party met in the city of New York; 
seventeen sections were represented by about twenty dele- 
gates, most of whom had come from New York and Brooklyn 
either as representatives of the local sections or as proxies 
for other sections. No business of importance was trans- 
acted, and the national secretary regretfully stated that the 
majority of the socialists in the United States were outside 
of the party. 

The struggles of the Socialist Labor Party grew harder 
and harder: the social contentment and political indifference 
of the masses seemed impregnable, no new converts were 
made, while the old party members, growing disheartened, 
dropped out in large numbers, 


What made the position of the party still more precarious, 
however, was the new and threatening apparition which at 
that period loomed upon the horizon of the American labor 
movement — the apparition of anarchism. 

2. Struggles with Anarchism 

Socialism and anarchism proceed equally from a criti- 
cism of the present organization of society, and are in accord 
in condemning existing social and economic institutions. 

But there-:the similarity between the two social theories 
ends ; in all other respects they are diametrically opposed to 
each other. 

Socialism implies the supremacy of the collective social 
body over the individual, while anarchism in its purest form 
signifies the complete emancipation of the individual from 
society. This fundamentally different conception of the 
respective rights and functions of society and the individual 
accounts for all differences in the social theories of the two 
schools. \ 

The socialist regards society as an organic body, of which 
the individuals are but separate organs performing different 
functions for the organism as a whole, and in turn deriving 
their strength from the well-being of the entire organism. 
A healthy and well-regulated organism, social or biological, 
is one in which every organ attains the maximum of its nor- 
mal individual development and fully performs all of its 
useful functions. On the other hand, where the functions 
of one or more organs are over-exercised while others re- 
main inactive, the equilibrium of the organism is disturbed, 
and the organism itself becomes abnormal and diseased. 
The socialist finds fault with the present state of society 
inasmuch as it is characterized by the-absence of a proper 
social equilibrium; his ideal of human civilization is the 
cooperative commonwealth — i.e., that state of society in 
which social life and industry are organized on a rational and 


scientific basis, exacting from each individual his proper 
share of usefulness in his own sphere, and guaranteeing to 
each an equal opportunity to develop all of his faculties. 

The anarchist, on the other hand, considers society as a 
mere inorganic aggregation of independent individuals. He 
sees the highest state of development in the absolute sover- 
eignty of the individual, and considers all social restraints 
upon the absolute and untrammeled personal liberty as inju- 
rious and reactionary elements in human civilization.' He 
regards the State as an arbitrary contrivance to curb the indi- 
vidual liberty of the citizen, and abhors all government and 
laws as so many unnecessary checks upon the free exercise 
of the individual will and whim. The anarchist finds fault 
with the present state of society, not because it is insuffi- 
ciently organized for the general public'welfare, but because 
it is too much organized His ideal state is one consisting 
of a multitude of autonomous groups of individuals freely 
and loosely organized for the purpose of production and 
exchange, somewhat on the line of the Fourieristic Phalanxes. 
The anarchist is opposed to a systematic regulation of pro- 
duction and industry, he relies on the natural results of the 
free play of demand and supply. He is opposed to all forms 
of administration and social restrictions, his faith in the in- 
herent goodness of human nature is unlimited, and he confi- 
dently predicts that all crime will disappear and that proper 
relations of man to man will be established automatically as 
soon as the present artificial social and governmental insti- 
tutions will be abolished The anarchist abhors majority 
rule as the worst form of tyranny, and points to the fact that 
the most useful innovations in the history of our race have 
as a rule been introduced after hard battle with the majority. 

And the opposite tactics and methods of procedure of 
socialism and anarchism are but the results of the practical 
application of their antagonistic social philosophies. 

Conceiving society as an organic body, the socialist 
recognizes that its development is gradual and subject to 


certain sociological laws. He does not admit the possibility 
of a radical social transformation unless the same was pre- 
pared by a series of social and industrial evolutions and a 
corresponding gradual change in the social and political views 
of men. It is the system, not the individuals, that he com- 
bats. His hope of social regeneration is based upon the 
tendencies of development of modern industry as he sees 
them, and he expects the realization of his ideal to be brought 
about by the concerted efforts of the greater portion of the 
population. He believes the working class will be the prime 
factor in the social transformation, for the reason that the' 
benefits of such transformation appeal more directly to the 
interests of that class, and hence his energies are bent upon 
the work of preparing the working men for the r61e to be 
played by them. 

He seeks to develop the consciousness of their class in- 
terests by the oral and written propaganda of the views and 
theories of socialism- In the industrial organizations and 
struggles of the working men he sees the symptoms of an 
incipient discontent with the evils of the present industrial 
system, he encourages them, and seeks to imbue them with 
the spirit and philosophy of socialism. In politics the so- 
cialist perceives a powerful agent for the molding, express- 
ing, and enforcing of popular views and demands, and hence 
he advocates political action of the working class on sociaUst 
lines. The watchwords of socialism are education and or- 
i ganization, and its weapons the propaganda, cooperation 
I with the trade-unions, and the ballot-box. 
' From the point of view of the revolutionary anarchist 
philosophy, however, these methods of procedure are alto- 
gether unnecessarily tedious and slow. Not recognizing the 
organic character of human society, the anarchist denies the 
gradual and logical course of its development. The world is 
ready for the most radical revolutions at all times, and all that 
is required for their successful accomplishment is a handful of 
determined men, ready to jeopardize their lives for the welfare 


of the oppressed population. And it matters little that the 
daring revolutionists may not have the support or sympathy 
of the majority of the population : the great majority of the 
population never knows its own interests, and appreciates a 
brave and noble deed only after it has been successfully per- 
formed. All great revolutions, argue the anarchists, have 
been accomplished by small minorities, and all great public 
benefits have been forced upon mankind. 

Consistently with these views the anarchists reject politi- 
cal action as a useless farce, and deprecate all efforts of trade- 
unions and socialists to ameliorate the present condition of 
the working class as reactionary measures, retarding the 
revolution by smothering the dissatisfaction of the workers 
with their present conditions. Their efforts are directed 
toward sowing the seed of revolt among the poor, and car- 
rying on a personal war with those whom they regard as 
responsible for all social injustice, the high and mighty of 
all nations. Their weapons are the "propaganda of the 
word " and the " propaganda of the deed." 

Anarchism is thus the extreme but logical deduction of 
the individualist philosophy of the French and English 
schools. The theories of Herbert Spencer and those of John 
Most differ but in degree, but not in quality. 

The first man to formulate the theory of -modern anarch- 
ism was the French reformer and economist, P. J. Proudhon, 
whose work, " Qu'est-ce que la Propridtd," published in 1840, 
contained the first allusions to the new social theory, and 
who developed his system of anarchism more minutely 
in his principal work, "Systteie des Contradictions fico- 
nomiques." * 

The system was somewhat modified and popularized by 
Michael Bakounin, whose name we had occasion to mention 
in connection with the history of the International, and in 
recent days its chief apostles have been Prince Kropotkin 
and John Most. Each of these men has added something 
* See G. Plechanow, " Anarchismus und Sozialismus," Berlin, 1894. 


to the theory, and has in turn been called " the father of 
anarchism." Altho the fundamental premises of all of 
these authors are identical, the conclusions drawn by them 
from the premises vary indefinitely, and it has frequently 
been said that there are as many anarchistic systems as there 
are anarchistic authors. The latest contribution to these 
systems is the theory of " anarchistic communism," a rather 
awkward attempt to combine the principle of extreme indi- 
vidualism with that of collectivism. 

Under the influence of Bakounin's agitation, anarchism at 
one time gained considerable ground in France, Spain, Italy, 
Austria, and Switzerland; in Germany it was but little 
known, as it is generally a noteworthy fact that anarchism 
thrives least where the socialist movement is strongest. 

In the United States the first symptoms of anarchism 
manifested themselves at about the same time that the 
Socialist Labor Party showed the first signs of decline. 
Already at the Allegheny convention of 1879 a division be- 
tween the moderate and more radical elements of the party 
was noticed. Shortly before, the socialists of Chicago and 
Cincinnati had organized some military organizations of 
working men under the name of " Educational and Defen- 
sive Societies" (Lehr und Wehr Vereine). The national 
executive committee of the party was opposed to these 
organizations, on the ground that they tended to create a false 
impression of the aims and character of the socialist move- 
ment. "As they carried the red flag and acknowledged 
their socialistic tendencies, the public were informed that 
the socialists were determined to accomplish by force what 
they could not obtain by the ballot," Van Patten reported to 
the convention. The national executive committee publicly 
disavowed any connection with the military organizations, 
and requested all party members to withdraw from them. 

The sponsors of the military labor organizations resented 
this interference of the executive committee, and when the 
convention assembled they moved for a vote of censure 


against the latter. The motion was adopted by a small 
majority after a heated debate. 

On the whole, however, the convention was dominated by 
the moderate rather than by the radical elements, and the 
latter soon developed an open dissatisfaction with the party 
administration. In November, 1880, a number of members 
of the New York sections * of the party left the organiza- 
tion and formed a Revolutionary Club, which adopted a 
platform modeled in the main after the Gotha program of 
the German Social Democracy, but was interspersed with 
some violent anarchistic phrases. The leading spirit of the 
movement was Wilhelm Hasselmann, an old Lassallean, and 
former deputy to the Imperial German Diet, who had once 
played a prominent part in the socialist movement of his 
fatherland, and who had then shortly arrived in New York. 
Other prominent men in the new movement were Justus 
Schwab and M Bachmann. Similar revolutionary clubs 
soon sprang up in Boston, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. 
But of the greatest significance were the Chicago clubs, of 
which Paul Grottkau, August Spies, and R. Parsons were 
the leading members. 

In October, 1881, a national convention of the revolu- 
tionary clubs was held in Chicago, and the " Revolutionary 
Socialist Labor Party " was organized by them. 

The character of the new movement was as yet rather 
indefinite ; it vacillated between socialism of a more radical 
color and outspoken anarchism, it lacked a leader of suffi- 
cient strength and influence to direct it into definite channels. 
That leader was soon found in the person of John Most. 

John Most was born at Augsburg, Germany, in 1846, as 
the son of a poor subaltern officer. A sickness of five years' 
duration, an operation which left his face deformed forever, 
a cruel stepmother, and later on a still more cruel employer 
to whom he was apprenticed, are the cheerless events which 

•The local branches or subdivisions of the Socialist Labor Party 
were styled "sections." 


filled out the childhood of the future apostle of anarchism. 
He received a very scanty school education, but he read a 
good deal, and as a young man he traveled extensively 
through Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. In the 
latter country he came in contact with the International, 
whose theories he eagerly adopted, and he has ever since 
been active in the International revolutionary movement. 

In the summer of 1869 he was sentenced to one month 
imprisonment for an inciting speech delivered by him in 
Vienna. The next year he participated in the organization 
of a large popular demonstration for the freedom of speech, 
press, and assembly, was arrested on the charge of high 
treason, found guilty and sentenced to state prison for a 
term of five years. After a few months, however, he was 
pardoned, and after a few months more he was expelled 
from Austria. During the seven years following, he took a 
leading part in the socialist movement of Germany, and in 
1874, and again in 1877, he was elected to the Diet to repre- 
sent the District of Chemnitz. During that time he served 
two terms of imprisonment, both times for riotous speeches, 
and in 1878, immediately after the enactment of the anti- 
socialist laws, he was expelled from Berlin. Most now set- 
tled in London, where he began the publication of a weekly 
magazine under the title Freiheit (Freedom). It was at that 
time also that he commenced to depart gradually from the 
principles of social democracy, inclining more and more 
toward revolutionary anarchism. 

On the occasion of the assassination of Alexander II. by 
the Russian Nihilists in 1881, Most published an article in 
his Freiheit glorifying the deed and calling for its emulation 
by others. For this article he was tried by the English 
courts and sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for 
sixteen months. It was shortly after he had served out this 
sentence that Most landed in New York. 

For the members of the revolutionary clubs, or the " So- 
cial Revolutionists," as they styled themselves. Most was no 


mean acquisition. A forceful and popular speaker, a bril- 
liant journalist, and a " martyr " to the cause, he was the ideal 
man to gather the disheartened and demoralized elements in 
the socialist movement of America under the banner of 
revolt and destruction. 

The great mass-meeting arranged for his reception in the 
large hall of the Cooper Union Institute in December, 1882, 
turned into a veritable ovation for the " victim of bourgeois 
justice," and his tour of propaganda through the principal 
cities of the country in the early part of 1883 resembled a 
triumphal procession. His meetings were well attended and 
enthusiastic, they were extensively commented on by the 
press, and a number of anarchistic " groups " were organized 
as a result of his agitation. 

In October, 1883, a joint convention of the social revolu- 
tionists and anarchists was held in Pittsburg. The conven- 
tion was attended by representatives from twenty-six cities. 
Most, Spies, and Parsons being among the delegates. Let- 
ters of congratulation and encouragement were received from 
many parts of the United States, and from anarchistic groups 
in France, England, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and Holland. The 
convention created a national organization of all social-revo- 
lutionary and anarchistic groups under the name " Interna- 
tional Working People's Association." The administration 
of the groups remained autonomous, and a general " Infor- 
mation Bureau " for the purpose of communication between 
the groups, but without executive powers, was established 
with headquarters in Chicago. 

The principal work of the convention was, however, the 
adoption of a declaration of principles which has since be- 
come famous as the " Pittsburg Proclamation," and which is 
still regarded as the classic exposition of "communistic 

This declaration of principles is, like the theory of commu- 
nistic anarchism itself, a rather peculiar mixture of many 
not always very consistent elements. 


The Declaration of Independence is curiously interspersed 
with the conflicting theories of Marx and Proudhon, and the 
philosophy of the French encyclopaedists of the eighteenth 
century. The object of the movement is stated to be " the 
destruction of the existing class government by all means, 
i.e., by energetic, implacable, revolutionary, and international 
action," and the establishment of a system of industry based 
on " the free exchange of equivalent products between the 
producing organizations themselves and without the inter- 
vention of middlemen and profit-making." 

The Pittsburg convention and the repeated lecture tours 
of Most and other prominent anarchists had their effect. 

Anarchism became a power in the radical circles of the 
labor movement of the United States, especially in the Ger- 
man-speaking part of it. The "groups" multiplied from 
year to year, and their membership increased steadil}'. The 
Freiheit gained in circulation, some of the former socialist 
papers, such as the Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung and Vorbote, 
deserted the socialist camp and joined the anarchist move- 
ment, and some new anarchist organs were established. 

The growth of the anarchist movement served to deplete 
the weakened ranks of the Socialist Labor Party still more. 
Disheartened by their recent failures in politics, and despair- 
ing of the final success of the slow methods, of socialist 
propaganda, many members lent a willing ear to the conven- 
ient anarchist theories of general negation, and section after 
section seceded from the party to join fortunes with the 

In 1883 the membership of the Socialist Labor Party had 
shrunk to about 1,500, and its leaders were forced to concen- 
trate their energies on an effort to prevent further inroads. 

A spirited controversy ensued between the Freiheit and 
the Bulletin, the official organ of the Socialist Labor Party. 
The controversy was conducted with a great deal of earnest- 
ness on the part of the latter, and with considerable wit and 
skill by the former. On the whole, it may be said that )f 


the Freiheit did not always have the best of the argument, 
it mostly Had the laugh on its side, and was generally the 
more successful combatant. 

Defeated in this struggle and disheartened by the general 
run of things in the party, Philip Van Patten, who had been 
its national secretary over six years, abandoned the fight in 
despair. On the 22d day of April, 1883^ he suddenly dis- 
appeared, announcing his intention to commit suicide in a 
letter left behind him. It subsequently developed, however, 
that the letter was but a stratagem calculated to divert the 
attention of his former comrades from his trail : in reality 
Van Patten had sought and found a more peaceful and 
remunerative existence in the employ of the Government. 
The loss of Van Patten at that juncture was a hard blow to 
the organized socialist movement of this country. Van 
Patten was an American of good family, with an excellent 
education, and had been active and prominent in the socialist 
movement for ten years without interruption. He was a 
man of much enthusiasm and devotion, but by no means a 
strong and popular leader. It was not so much the loss of 
his personality as the moral effect of his retreat that reflected 
a deep discouragement on the socialist movement. Van 
Patten was succeeded in the office of national secretary by 
one Schneider, and when the latter resigned in October, 1883, 
Hugo Vogt was elected to fill the vacancy until the next 
convention of the party, which was decided to be held in 

When the Pittsburg convention of the social revolutionists 
was held earlier in the year, the Socialist Labor Party had 
been invited to send delegates to it, but the national execu- 
tive committee declined the invitation, declaring that there 
could be no common ground between social democrats and 

The " proclamation " adopted at Pittsburg, however, was 
much more moderate than was expected, and seemed to 
afford some ground for united action. The International 


Working-People's Association created by the Pittsburg 
convention was not as yet a purely anarchistic body, but 
rather a confederation fc)f radical socialist and revolutionary 
organizations of all shades. As soon as. the results of the 
deliberations of the convention were published, voices for 
union with the new body were raised in the Socialist Labor 
Party, and now that the party was thoroughly disorganized, 
the clamor for union became general. In December, 1883, 
some prominent members of the Socialist Labor Party took 
it upon themselves to propose formally a consolidation of the 
party with the Internationalists. This was done by means 
of a written communication addressed to the Chicago 
"groups," and signed by Alexander Jonas, Henry Emrich, 
George Lehr, and H. Molkenbuhr. The brunt of the writer's 
argument was the wisdom of united action and the similarity 
of views of the two organizations. " Reading the Proclama- 
tion of the Internationalists as adopted at the Pittsburg 
convention," they declared, "we can hardly find anything 
in it with which the Socialist Labor Party has not always 
agreed, except perhaps some obscure clauses of a reactionary 

The answer came from A. Spies, writing in behalf of the 
Chicago "groups." It expressed anything but enthusiasm 
over the proposed union, and in substance advised the So- 
cialist Labor Party to dissolve into autonomous groups to be 
affiliated with the International Working-People's Associa- 
tion in the same manner as the other groups of that body. 
It was under these circumstances that the fourth national 
convention of the Socialist Labor Party met at Baltimore 
from- December 26 to 28, 1883. 

It was the most dismal convention ever held by the party. 
Only sixteen delegates attended, and of these, four came 
from Baltimore and ten from New York and vicinity. 

The convention made some changes in the platform and 
constitution of the party, with the apparent view of placating 
the more radical elements in the movement. The office of 


national secretary was abolished, the powers of the national 
executive committee were curtailed, and the sections were 
given greater autonomy in the administration of their own 
affairs. In addition to the party platform, the convention, 
following the Pittsburg precedent, adopted a " proclamation." 
The document was more radical in tone than any previous 
pronunciamentos of the party : politics were recommended 
as a means of propaganda only, and the conviction was ex- 
pressed that the privileged classes would never surrender 
their privileges without being compelled to do so by forced 
Having made these concessions to the " social revolution- 
ists," the convention proceeded to define its attitude toward 
outspoken anarchism in very unambiguous language. 

"We do not share the folly of the men who consider 
dynalmite bombs as the best means of agitation," the dele- 
gates declared ; " we know full well that a revolution must 
take place in the heads and in the industrial life of men be- 
fore the working class can achieve lasting success." 

The principal significance of the convention lay in the 
fact that it drew a sharp line of demarkation between social- 
ism and anarchism. The somewhat vague species of " social 
revolutionism" rapidly disappeared; the more moderate 
elements of the movement, such as Paul Grottkau, rejoined 
the ranks of the Socialist Labor Party, and the extremists 
cast their lot definitely with the anarchists. 

Henceforward all attempts at conciliation were given up 
as useless, and there was nothing but war between the two 
hostile camps. 

The sociahst as well as the anarchist papers of that period 
are filled with controversial articles on the merits and de- 
merits of the theories and practise of the two contending 
social movements, and public discussions on the subject 
were frequent and heated. 

The most notable of these discussions was the one con- 
ducted between Paul Grottkau and John Most at Chicago, 
on the 24th day of May, 1884. It was a well-matched con- 


test, the opponents being equally well versed in the subject 
of discussion, and both being fluent speakers and ready de- 
baters. The discussion was very thoroughgoing and dealt 
with almost every phase of the subject. It was reported 
stenographically, published in book form,* and widely circu- 

Of considerable benefit to the party were also the lecture 
tours of Alexander Jonas, F. Seubert, H. Walther, and O. 
Reimer, undertaken at about the same time. The tours 
were arranged by the party's executive committee, and the 
special mission of the lecturers was to combat anarchism. 
The speakers visited the most important centers of the 
anarchist movement, addressed public meetings as well as ' 
some meetings of social revolutionary clubs, exposing the 
weak points of anarchism, and urging the party members to 
new activity. Simultaneously with this oral propaganda, 
the agitation against anarchism was vigorously conducted by 
tracts and leaflets published under the supervision of the 
national executive committee, and distributed in many thou- 
sand copies. 

But the activity of the party at that period was by no 
means limited to the struggle with anarchism. A systematic 
campaign of education was conducted, principally through 
the medium of socialist tracts and pamphlets, of which no 
less than 160,000 were disposed of during the years 1884 
and 1885. 

The result of this renewed activity was a steady growth 
of the Socialist Labor Party. In March, 1884, the party 
consisted of about thirty sections ; during the two years fol- 
lowing the number was doubled. Three party papers in the 
English language — The Voice of the People in New York, the 
Evening Telegram in New Haven, and the San Francisco 
Truth in San Francisco — had been established at different 
times, but all were compelled to suspend publication after a 

• "Discussion iiber das Thema' Anarchismus oder Communismus,' 
g«furt von Paul Grottkau und Joh. Most," Chicago, J884. 


brief trial. Of the German party papers, the New Yorker 
Volkszeitung and the Philadelphia Tageblatt were the only 
ones to survive, and the Sozialist, a weekly magazine in the 
German language, was created as the official organ of the 
party under the editorial management of Joseph Dietzgen. 
On the Sth day of October, 1885, the fifth national conven- 
tion of the Socialist Labor Party met at Cincinnati. Forty- 
two sections were represented by thirty-three delegates. 
The principal work of the convention was to regulate the 
workings of the party and to strengthen its organization. 

The Socialist Labor Party had now somewhat recuperated 
from the onslaughts of anarchism, but it had by no means 
vanquished the foe. On the contrary, the International 
Working-People's Association had during the last two years 
gained more in proportion than the Socialist Labor Party. 
In the year 1885 the International embraced about eighty 
organized groups, with a total of 7,000 enrolled members, and 
its press was represented by seven German, two English, 
and two Bohemian papers. 

3. The Chicago Drama 

The main strength of the anarchist movement lay in Chi- 
cago, in which the " Information Bureau " was located, and 
in which the Arbeiter-Zeitung, the Vorbote, and the Packet, 
as well as the English Alarm, edited by Parsons, were pub- 
lished. There were toward the end of 1885 no less than 
twenty groups, with a membership of about 3,000, in Chicago 
and vicinity. 

What made the ground especially favorable for the propa- 
ganda of anarchism at that time was the new industrial 
crisis which set in about 1884 and lasted until 1886. As in 
1877, the large industrial cities of the country were again 
filled with throngs of destitute and embittered working men 
out of employment, and these supplied eager and apprecia- 
tive audiences for the apostles of violence. 


And here again Chicago was in the lead. The Interna- 
tionalists of that city held numerous mass-meetings, a great 
street demonstration was arranged by them on Thanksgiv- 
ing Day of 1884, and the Frciheit, the Alarm, and other 
anarchist papers counseled their adherents to arm them- 
selves, and even published minute instructions for the prepa- 
ration and use of dynamite. Similar instructions were con- 
tained in a pamphlet written by Most at that time, under the 
title " Revolutionary Science of War," which was reprinted 
by several anarchist papers and had a pretty extensive circu- 
lation. The climax of the agitation, however, was reached 
in 1886. 

In 1884 the annual convention of the Federation of Trades 
and Labor Unions of the United States of America had de- 
cided to revive the movement for an eight-hour work-day, 
and later the first day of May, 1886, was fixed as the day on 
which the new system should be inaugurated. As the 
ominous day approached, the movement gained in width and 
determination. The trade-unions of the country doubled 
and trebled their membership, eight-hcur leagues were 
formed, and the subject was warmly agitated in public meet- 
ings and in the labor press. 

In Chicago the excitement ran highest. In 1885 the 
" Eight-Hour Association of Chicago " was organized on the 
initiative of George A. Schilling and others, the Trade and 
Labor Assembly, the principal central body of organized 
labor in Chicago, immediately fell in line, the Central Labor 
Union, a smaller body dominated by anarchist influence, ' 
followed, and the movement soon became general. 

The Internationalists of Chicago were at first quite indif- 
ferent to the movement, and even deprecated it as a compro- 
mise with capital and as a hopeless and useless battle But 
when the eight-hour movement assumed larger proportions 
and became the all-absorbing topic in labor circles, the an- 
archists gradually changed their position, and ultimately 
supported it. Parsons, Spies, Fielden, Schwab, and other 


anarchist orators became the most popular speakers at eight- 
hour meetings, and at such meetings, as well as in their 
press, the anarchists frequently took occasion to advise the 
working men to provide themselves with arms on the first day 
of May. The first serious trouble occurred among the strik- 
ing employees of the McCormick Reaper Works. These had 
been " locked out " from the works in February, and the battle 
between employers and employees was fought with unusual 
bitterness, which was still more intensified by the fact that 
the McCormicks had hired no less than 300 armed Pinkerton 
detectives to protect the strike breakers in their employ. 
On the third day of May the Lumber Shovers' Union, 
of which the majority of the locked-out McCormick 
employees were members, held a mass-meeting in the 
vicinity of the works to discuss the terms of a peace propo- 
sal to be submitted to the employers. Spies was addressing 
the meeting with " unusual calmness and moderation," as he 
relates in his autobiography, when the bell of the McCormick 
factory rang and the " scabs " were seen leaving. An excited 
crowd of about 1 50, separating itself from the meeting, made 
a move toward them. A street battle ensued, stones being 
liberally thrown on each side. The police were telephoned 
for, and a patrol-wagon filled with policemen immediately 
rattled up the street. A few minutes later about seventy- 
five policemen followed the patrol-wagon on foot, and these 
were again followed by three or four more patrol-wagons. 
The police were received with stones, and in turn opened 
fire on the crowd, shooting indiscriminately on men, women, 
and children, killing six and wounding many more. Frantic 
and infuriated beyond measure over this act of brutality. 
Spies hurried back to the office of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and 
there composed the proclamation to the working men of 
Chicago which has since become famous as the " Revenge 

It was headed " Revenge ! " and called upon the working 
men to arm themselves and to avenge the " brutal murder " 


of their brethren. Five thousand copies of the circular were 
printed in English and German, and distributed in the 
streets. On the next evening a mass-meeting was called to 
be held at the Haymarket for the purpose of " branding the 
murder of our fellow workers." About 2,000 working men 
responded to the call, and Spies, Parsons, and Fielden spoke. 
Mayor Carter H. Harrison of Chicago, apprehending trouble, 
was present at the meeting, and what occurred was sub- 
sequently described by him in the following language: 
' " With the exception of a portion in the earlier part of Mr. 
Spies' address, which for probably a minute was such that 
I feared it was leading up to a point where I should disperse 
the meeting, it was such that I remarked to Captain Bon- 
field that it was tame. The portion of Mr. Parsons' speech 
attracting most attention was the statistics as to the amount 
of returns given to labor from capital, and showing, if I 
remember rightly now, that capital got eighty-five per cent, 
and labor fifteen per cent. It was what I should call a vio- 
lent political harangue against capital. I went back to the 
station and said to Bonfield that I thought the speeches were 
about over ; that nothing had occurred yet or was likely to 
occur to require interference, and I thought he had better 
issue orders to his reserves at the other stations to go home." 
Mayor Harrison left at about ten o'clock, and the meeting 
was then practically concluded. At least two-thirds of the 
audience had dispersed in view of the heavy clouds which 
had gathered up foreshadowing a rainstorm. Fielden ad- 
dressed the remaining crowd, a very few hundred in number. 
He had spoken about ten minutes, when 176 policemen sud- 
denly marched upon the little crowd in double-quick step. 
Captain Ward, in charge of the squad, commanded the meet- 
ing to disperse, and Fielden retorted that the meeting was a 
peaceable one. At this juncture a dynamite bomb was 
thrown from an adjoining alley ; it alighted between the first 
and second companies of the policemen and exploded with a 
terible detonation, killing one policeman and woundmg many 


more. Instantly an indiscriminate firing was opened on both 
sides, which lasted about two minutes without interruption ; 
when it was all over it appeared that seven policemen had 
been killed and about sixty wounded, while on the side of 
the working men four were killed and about fifty wounded. 

Who threw the bomb which precipitated the riot ">. The 
question has never been satisfactorily answered. One Ru- 
dolph Schnaubelt, a brother-in-law of Michael Schwab, is 
commonly credited with the fatal deed, but Schnaubelt fled 
immediately after the Haymarket tragedy, and through the 
anarchistic press of Europe he has repeatedly denied any 
connection with the act. The opinion was also frequently 
expressed that the bomb was thrown as an act of personal 
vengeance by some relative or friend of a victim of the police 
brutalities perpetrated on the preceding day, and there were 
not wanting even those who believed that the dastardly act 
had been committed by an " agent provocateur " at the be- 
hest of the police or capitalists in order to break up the 
eight-hour agitation, which had just then assumed very 
powerful proportions. 

But be this as it may, the Haymarket incident was laid at 
the door of the anarchists, and popular indignation against 
them and their agitation knew no bounds. The daily press 
loudly clamored for the hanging of the leading anarchists, 
all labor meetings were broken up, and the Arbeiter-Zeittmg 
was placed under the censorship of the chief of police. The 
speakers at the Haymarket meeting and the entire editorial 
board and staff of compositors of the Arbeiter-Zeitung were 
immediately placed under arrest. Parsons, who could not be 
found by the police, surrendered himself voluntarily on the 
trial. On the 17th day of May the grand jury convened and 
found an indictment against August Spies, Michael Schwab, 
Samuel Fielden, Albert R. Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George 
Engel, Louis Lingg, Oscar W. Neebe, Rudolph Schnaubelt, 
and William Seliger, charging them with the murder of M. 
J. Degan, the policeman who was killed by the fateful bomb. 


Of these, Schnaubelt made his escape, Seliger turned State's 
evidence and was granted immunity, the other eight were 
placed on trial. , 

The men thus singled out were not only the backbone of 
the local anarchistic movement, but they were also among 
the most prominent and influential leaders in the eight-hour 
agitation, and generally popular in the labor movement of 

August Spies was at that time thirty-one years of age. 
He was born in Germany and emigrated to the United 
States in 1872. In 1877 he joined the Socialist Labor 
Party. He became business manager, then editor-in-chief of 
the Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung, and retained the latter position 
until the day of his arrest. Upon the advent of the " social 
revoluntary " clubs, he joined the movement and later be- 
came an avowed anarchist. His anarchism, however, was 
of a rather mild and philosophical type. He was a Marxian 
student, spoke and wrote English and German with equal 
fluency, and was by all odds the most cultured and intellec- 
tual of the defendants. 

Albert R. Parsons was bom at Montgomery, Ala., in 1844. 
At the age of fifteen he learned the trade of typesetting. 
He fought in the civil war on the Confederate side, but in 
1868 he published a newspaper for the defense of the rights 
of the colored race, and thereby incurred the enmity of his 
relatives. In 1875 he joined the Social Democratic Party, 
and one year later he organized the Chicago Trade Assem- 
bly of the Knights of Labor. He was one of the first to 
join the "social revolutionary" movement in 1880, and 
since 1884 he edited the ultra-anarchistic Alarm. He was 
an eloquent and magnetic speaker and talented organizer, 
and between 1875 and 1886 he is said to have addressed no 
less than 1,000 mass-meetings and to have traveled over six- 
teen States as organizer for the Socialist Labor Party, and 
later for the International Working-People's Association. 

Michael Schwab was a man of smaller caliber than either 


Spies or Parsons. He was a German of good education, 
thirty-three years old, and at the time of his arrest had been 
eight years in the United States. He was associated with 
Spies on the editorial staff of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and was 
a lucid tho not original writer and a fluent speaker. His 
influence in the labor movement was due principally to his 
great earnestness and unbounded devotion to the cause of 
the working class. 

George Engel was the oldest of the defendants. He was 
born in 1836 in Kassel, Germany. A life of hardship and 
privation had early matured in him the spirit of bitterness. 
His hatred of existing society was more a personal senti- 
ment than the result of any social philosophy. He joined 
the anarchistic movement upon the first signs of its ap- 
pearance in the United States, and had been one of its 
extremest and most earnest devotees ever since. 

Louis Lingg was but twenty-two years old. He was a 
passionate and enthusiastic fanatic and an untiring worker 
for the cause of anarchy. 

Samuel Fielden was born in England in 1847. He was 
successively a weaver, a lay Methodist preacher, and a driver. 
His knowledge of socialism and anarchism he gathered mostly 
from newspaper articles and public discussions . H is speeches 
were direct, somewhat abrupt, passionate, and eloquent, and 
he was a great favorite with the masses. 

Adolph Fischer was but two years older than Lingg. He 
was born in Germany, but emigrated to the United States 
at the age of fifteen. His education in socialism he received 
from his parents. He turned anarchist a few years before 
his arrest, and was one of the most indefatigable workers of 
the movement. 

Oscar Neebe was born in New York in 1849. He settled 
in Chicago in 1866, and since that time was identified 
with almost every phase of the labor movement He was a 
delegate to the National Labor-Union, and later he joined 
first the Socialist Labor Party and then the International 


Working-People's Association. He was never very promi- 
nent in the anarchistic propaganda, but was always active in 
the trade-union movement, and took a leading part in the 
eight-hour agitation of 1886. 

The trial of the eight men commenced on the 21st day of 
June, 1886. It was presided over by Judge Joseph E. Gary, 
and lasted forty-nine days. The defendants were not charged' 
with any personal participation in the act of killing Degan. 
The theory of the prosecution was that they had by speech 
and print advised large classes of the people to commit mur- 
der, and that in consequence of that advice somebody not 
known had thrown the bomb that caused Degan' s death. 

The trial of the anarchists has frequently been called a 
farce by many impartial observers who were in no way con- 
jn^cted with the anarchist movement, and it is hard to read 
(the records of the case without coming to the conclusion 
jthat it was the grossest travesty on justice ever perpetrated 
|in an American court. The jury was not drawn in the cus- 
tomary way, but Judge Gary appointed one Henry L. Ryse 
as a special bailiff to go out and summon such jurors as he 
might select. Out of a- panel of about 1,000 only five were 
working men, and these were promptly excused by the State. 
The remainder were employers of labor, or men dependent 
on such. Most of them declared that they had a prejudice 
against anarchists and a preconceived opinion of the guilt of 
the defendants, but upon their statement that they believed 
their prejudice could be overcome by strong proof of in- 
nocence, the judge ruled that they were qualified to serve 
as jurors. , The most important witnesses for the State 
were Seliger, who had betrayed his comrades for a promise 
of immunity, and a number of detectives and newspaper 
reporters, many of whom contradicted themselves on the 
trial to such an extent as to render their testimony of no 
value. With all that, the prosecution did not succeed in 
establishing the most vital point of their theory — i.e., that the 
person who threw the bomb did so upon the advice, directly 


or indirectly, of any of the defendants, or that he was in any 
way influenced by their teachings. Since the identity of the 
direct culprit was unknown, his acts could, of course, not 
be brought into any connection with the defendants. 

But the most revolting feature of the trial was the partial 
manner in which it was conducted by the judge : not only 
did he rule all contested points in favor of the prosecution, 
but his repeated insinuating remarks made within the hear- 
ing of the jury were of such a nature that they could not 
fail to influence the latter against the defendants. In vain 
did Spies and Fielden disclaim any connection with the 
tragedy ; in vain did Parsons show that he did not anticipate 
any violence at the meeting, since he had permitted his wife 
and children to accompany him to the same; in vain did 
Fischer and Engel show that they were quietly at home play- 
ing cards while the Haymarket meeting took place ; in vain 
did Schwab, Lingg, and Neebe prove that they had not been 
at the Haymarket meeting, and that they did not know of 
the preparations for it ; and in vain did their attorney. Captain 
Black, demonstrate that the State's case was built up on per- 
jured testimony. The Haymarket affair was but a pretext. 
What the defendants were really tried for was not the mur- 
der of Degan, but their anarchist views. They were bound 
to be convicted, and convicted they were. On the 20th day 
of August the jury brought in the following verdict : 

" We, the jury, find the defendants, August Spies, Samuel 
Fielden, Michael Scwhab, Albert R. Parsons, Adolph Fischer, 
George Engel, and Louis Lingg guilty of murder in the man- 
ner and form charged in the indictment, and fix the penalty at 
death. We find the defendant, Oscar W. Neebe, guilty of 
murder in manner and form as charged in the indictment, and 
fix the penalty at imprisonment in the penitentiary for fifteen 

Upon an appeal taken to the Supreme Court of the State 
the judgment was affirmed, and the further appeal to the 
Supreme Coart of the United States was dismissed on the 


ground that the court had no jurisdiction in the matter. 
The only other recourse left was a petition to the governor 
for executive clemency. Some of the condemned men 
adopted this course, with the result that the sentences of 
Schwab and Fielden were commuted to life imprisonment. 
Lingg committed suicide in his cell by exploding a cartridge 
in his mouth. Spies, Parsons, Fischer, and Engel were 
hanged on the nth day of November, 1887. They died 
bravely. " The time will come when our silence in the grave 
will be more eloquent than our speeches," declared Spies as 
the noose was placed about his neck. Parsons' last words 
were: " Let the voice of the people be heard," and Fischer's 
dying statement as he ascended the scaffold with elastic step 
and radiant face was : " This is the happiest moment of my 
life." Six years later John P. Altgeld, then recently elected 
governor of Illinois, granted an absolute pardon to Samuel 
Fielden, Oscar Neebe, and Michael Schwab, accompanying 
the pardon by a thoroughgoing analysis of the trial before 
Judge Gary, and a scathing arraignment of the unfair and 
partial methods of the judge. 

4. Period of Reconstruction 

The Chicago incident was practically the closing chapter 
in the history of the anarchist movement in this country. 
While the anarchists disclaimed responsibility for the par- 
ticular act of throwing the fatal bomb, it could not be denied 
that the act was in accord with the methods of violence advo- 
cated by them. The Haymarket tragedy and its direful con- 
sequences were a concrete illustration of anarchism reduced 
to practise, and had a sobering effect on its adherents and 

Whatever little support organized labor had heretofore 
given to the movement was rapidly withdrawn, and anarchism 
was henceforward confined to a few insignificant "groups" 
'in the East with little power or influence. 


The coast was once more clear for the propaganda of 
socialism, and the socialists were not slow to take advantage 
of the favorable situation. 

The work of reviving the socialist movement was begun 
in earnest, and was greatly facilitated by the great industrial 
and political struggles which marked the labor movement of 
that period. 

The Socialist Labor Party gained in membership and 
strength. New party papers were established, new " sec- 
tions " organized, and extensive lecture tours were arranged. 
Of the latter the most noteworthy were those undertaken by 
Wilhelm Liebknecht, the veteran leader of the German 
Social Democracy, in conjunction with Eleanor Marx Avel- 
ing, the eloquent and brilliant daughter of Karl Marx, and 
her husband. Dr. Edward Aveling. This tour was arranged 
by the Socialist Labor Party in the fall of 1 886. The lec- 
turers addressed about fifty meetings in all principal cities 
of the Union, Liebknecht speaking in German and the 
Avelings in English. Their work had a marked effect on 
the socialist movement of this country. 

In the month of September, 1887, the sixth national 
convention of the Socialist Labor Party was held at 
Buffalo, N. Y. The convention was attended by thirty- 
seven delegates, representing thirty-two sections, but the 
full number of party sections was reported to be about 

The most interesting feature of the convention was the 
discussion on the question of the proposed unity between 
the Socialist Labor Party and the International Working- 
Men's Association. 

The International Working-Men's Association (not to be 
confounded with the " International Working-People's Asso- 
ciation," created at Pittsburg in 1883) was organized in the 
latter part of 1881. It was composed principally of Ameri- 
can working men and farmers, and had its main strength on 
the Pacific coast. The social views and principles of the 


organization were a somewhat curious mixture of anarchism 
and socialism. 

With the anarchist these Internationalists discarded the 
ballot. "We believe,"* they declared, "that if universal 
suffrage had been capable of emancipating the working peo- 
ple from the rule of the loafing class, it would have been 
taken away from them before now, and we have no faith in 
the ballot as a means of righting the wrongs under which 
the masses groan." 

But they differed from the revolutionary anarchists inas- 
much as they discountenanced methods of violence and laid 
greater stress on education and propaganda. 

Their aims and objects were stated by them to be: "To 
print, publish, and circulate labor literature ; to hold mass- 
meetings ; to systematize agitation ; to establish labor libra- 
ries, labor halls, and lyceums for discussing social science ; 
to maintain the labor press ; to protect members and all pro- 
ducers from wrong ; to aid all labor organizations, etc." The 
Association was organized on the "group" system. Its 
principal organ was Truth, published in San Francisco under 
the editorial management of Bumette G. Haskell. It was 
established as a weekly in 1882; in the beginning of 1884 
it was converted into a monthly magazine, and toward the 
end of the same year it suspended publication for lack of sub- 
scribers. Truth was succeeded by the Labor Enquirer, pub- 
lished in Denver. 

In 1887 the International Working-Men's Association 
claimed an enrolled membership of about 6,000, distributed 
in the following manner : In Washington Territory and Ore- 
gon, about 2,000; in California, 1,800; in Colorado, Utah, 
Montana, Dakota, and Wyoming, about 2,000; and about 
200 members scattered in the South and East. 

Mr. Haskell, who conducted the negotiations in behalf of 
the Association, made several demands upon the Socialist 
Labor Party as conditions precedent to the unification of 
* R. T. Ely, " The Labor Movement in America." 


the two organizations, the most important of these being 
that the party change its name to " Socialist League " or 
"Socialist Association"; that it declare against political 
action ; that it devote less means to the support of the so- 
cialist movement in Germany and more to the propaganda at 
home ; that it admit the Chicago anarchists to membership, 
and continue the publication of the Labor Enquirer. 

After a somewhat lengthy discussion on the subject, the 
following resolution was adopted by the convention : 

" Whereas, A friendly offer of union with our party has 
been received from the Denver Socialist League ; 

"Resolved, That we, in the spirit of fraternity, recipro- 
cate the offer and welcome the outstretched hand ; and 

" Whereas, The platform and principles of the Socialist 
Labor Party are acknowledged to be complete, comprehen- 
sive, and satisfactory to our brothers of the International 
Working-Men's Association and the Socialist Leagues con- 
nected therewith; 

" Resolved, That said platform be the basis of the union. 

" Whereas, Many other socialist organizations in Chicago 
and other places in the Middle and Western States are be- 
lievers in our platform and principles, tho still isolated; 

"Resolved, That we shall welcome them, with our com- 
rades of the Socialist League, to our party upon a formal 
acceptance of our platform under the provisions of our con- 
stitution, to the end that the socialist agitation and propa- 
ganda may be made the more effective, and our common 
cause may finally triumph." 

No formal union was thus accomplished, and the Inter- 
national Working-Men's Association soon disbanded. 

Next to the matter of unity the larger portion of the con- 
vention's deliberations was occupied with the question of 
political action. The views of the delegates were divided 
on the question of continuing to cooperate with the various 
political labor parties then in the field, entering the political 
arena independently, or abstaining from politics altogether. 


A temporary compromise was finally effected by the adop- 
tion of a resolution recommending to the members " where- 
ever one or more labor parties are in the field to support 
that party which is the most progressive." 

But the adoption of the resolution by no means disposed 
of the controversy, and the disappointing experience of the 
socialists with the several " Progressive " or " Radical " labor 
parties in the ensuing elections accentuated the difference of 
views. The New York Volkszeitung and its adherents held 
that socialist politics were as yet premature, and advised 
the party to concentrate its attention on the trade-union 
movement, while the official party organs, The Workmen s 
Advocate and Der Sozialist, were enthusiastic advocates 
of independent socialist politics, and rather inclined to 
underrate the importance of socialist activity in the trade- 

The antagonism between the two camps grew more pro- 
nounced within the next two years, and finally developed into 
open hostilities. The Volkszeitung was charged by the 
party officers with disloyalty, and it retorted by styling the 
national executive committee an incompetent clique. In 
this controversy the bulk of the membership of " Section 
New York," which had elected the members of the national 
committee and had the right to recall them, sided with the 
Volkszeitung. In the month of September, 1889, the sec- 
tion preferred charges of incompetency against the national 
officers of the party, and called a meeting for the purpose of 
investigating into the charges. The meeting deposed the 
national secretary, W. L. Rosenberg, and the members of 
the national committee — Hinze, Sauter, and Gericke — and 
elected in their place S. E. Schewitsch, Otto Reiner, C. 
Ibsen, and R. Praast. This summary action precipitated a 
crisis within the party organization. The deposed officers 
refused to recognize the validity of the procedure by which 
they had been removed from office. They continued to 
assert their rights as the national committee of the party, 


and called a convention, to be held by the end of the same 
month in the city of Chicago. 

In the mean while the new national committee entered on 
the discharge of its duties. 

The " sections " were pretty evenly divided in their allegi- 
ance between the two committees, and in the ensuing chaos 
the control committee of the party, with headquarters at 
Philadelphia, stepped in, suspending both contesting com- 
mittees from office and taking temporary charge of the ad- 
ministration of the party affairs. 

The control committee postponed the date of the con- 
vention to October 12th, and this date was accepted by the 
Volkszeitung wing of the party, while the Rosenberg fac- 
tion adhered to the date originally fixed by the deposed 
committee. Thus two separate conventions were held by 
the party sections, each claiming to represent the regular 
organization and decrying the other as bogus. 

The convention of the Rosenberg faction was but poorly 
attended, and the majority of the delegates were "proxies." 
The organization led a rather precarious existence for several 
years longer. Efforts were repeatedly made to reunite the 
two factions, but no union was accomplished, and the Rosen- 
berg faction, or " Social Democratic Federation," as it styled 
itself in later years, gradually disappeared. 

In the mean while the Volkszeitung faction held its con- 
vention in Chicago in October, 1889. Thirty-three sections 
were represented by twenty-seven delegates. Notwithstand- 
ing the recent split within the party, the proceedings of the 
convention were marked by a spirit of confidence and hope- 
fulness. The most important work was the adoption of a 
new platform drafted by Lucien Sanial. While all previous 
platforms of the party had consisted of a concise and unim- 
passioned exposition of the abstract principles of modern 
socialism, the platform of 1889 was more of a campaign 
document, and was given a national coloring by basing its 
arguments on the Declaration of Independence. This docu- 


ment was readopted with insignificant modification at every 
succeeding convention of the Socialist Labor Party, and is 
still in force. (See Appendix II.) 

The next convention of the party was held in Chicago in 
July, 1893, and was attended by forty-two delegates. It 
was at that convention that the demand for the abolition of 
the office of President of the United States was struck from 
the platform. 

The progress of the party was now undisturbed and steady 
for a number of years. In 1889 the number of "sections" 
was reported to be seventy. During the four years following 
113 new sections were organized; 96 these, forty-three were 
German, thifty-nine American, fourteen Jewish, and the re- 
mainder were made up of Poles, Bohemians, Frenchmen, 
Italians, and other nationalities. The sections were distrib- 
uted in twenty-one States. Many of the newly organized sec- 
tions disbanded, but others were organized in their stead, and 
on the whole their number increased. In 1 896 the national 
secretary reported the existence of over 200 sections in 
twenty-five States. In that year the ninth national conven- 
tion of the Socialist Labor Party was held in the city of New 
York. It commenced its labors on the 4th day of July, and 
remained in session seven full days. Ninety-four delegates 
were present, representing seventy-five sections in twelve 

The proceedings of the convention were unusually ani- 
mated, and covered a wide range of subjects. The most sig- 
nificant and fateful act of the delegates was the attitude 
assumed by them toward the trade-union movement. The 
subject was brought up by the introduction of a resolution 
to indorse the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance which had 
then recently been called into existence by some prominent 
party leaders in opposition to the American Federatiori of 
Labor and the Order of the Knights of Labor. The deliate 
on the subject occupied the convention during several con- 
secutive sessions, and at times grew exceedingly intense. A 


resolution condemning the existing trade organizations as 
hopelessly corrupt and commending the organization of the 
Alliance was finally adopted by a vote of seventy-one to six. 

Thus the Socialist Labor Party for the first time in the 
history of its existence declared war on the existing national 
bodies of organized labor. 

This was a radical departure from the established policy 
of the party toward the trade-union movement. How fate- 
ful this new policy became to the organization the following 
chapters will show. • 

During the three succeeding years the number of sections 
increased to over 350, the operations of the party extended 
over thirty States, and the party press received several nota- 
ble additions and gained in circulation. 

In 1899 the Socialist Labor Party had reached the zenith 
of its power. 


I. Independent Politics 

The Socialist Labor Party, or the Working-Men's Party 
of the United States, as the organization was named during 
the first year of its existence, was primarily organized for 
propaganda only. On the question of the party's attitude 
toward participation in politics, the Philadelphia Unity Con- 
vention adopted the following resolution : 

" Whereas, The economic emancipation of the working 
class is the great end to which every political movement must 
be subordinated ; 

" Whereas, The Working-Men's Party conducts its strug- 
gles primarily on the economic field ; 

" Whereas, It is only the economic struggle in which the 
soldiers for the Working-Men's Party can be trained ; 

** Whereas, The ballot-box has in this country long ceased 
to be the expression of the popular will, but has rather be- 


come an instrument for its subversion in the hands of the 
professional politicians ; 

" Whereas, The organized working men are as yet by no 
means strong enough to. root out this corruption : 

" Whereas, This bourgeois republic has produced a multi- 
tude of middle-class reformers and quacks, and the penetra- 
tion of these elements into the party will be largely facilita- 
ted by a political movement ; 

" Whereas, The corruption of the ballot-box and the reform 
humbug reach their highest bloom in the years of presiden- 
tial elections, and the dangers for the Working-Men's Party 
are accordingly greatest in these years ; 

" For these reasons the Unity Convention of the Working- 
Men's Party, in session at Philadelphia on the 22d day of July, 
1876, resolves: 

" The sections of this party and all working men generally 
are earnestly requested for the time being to abstain from all 
political movements, and to turn their backs upon the -ballot- 

"The working men will thereby spare themselves many 
disappointments, and they can devote their time and energies 
with much more profit to the organizations of the working 
men, which are frequently injured and destroyed by prema- 
ture action. 

" Let us bide our time ! It will come ! " 

It will be readily seen from the wording of the resolution 
that the party's abstention from active .participation in poli- 
tics was a measure of necessity rather than a matter of 
choice, and the reasons for that attitude may be easily traced 
in the condition of the party and the political situation of 
the time. In 1876 the Working-Men's Party consisted of 
about 2,500 to 3,000 enrolled members all told, and the over- 
whelming majority of these were Germans. The party had 
just been created by the union of several not quite homo- 
geneous elements, its organization was loose, its means scanty, 
and its influence insignificant. Under these circumstances 


an independent national campaign was, of course, not to be 
thought of. And the prospects of fusion with any existing 
reform party were by no means more seductive : the only 
party which could lay claim to that title in the elections of 
-^1876 was th^jGreenbackPartj^ and this was very insignifi- 
cant, and the issues presented by it were not of a nature to 
appeal to the labor interests. Abstention from politics was, 
therefore," the only course left open to the new party. 

But the following year wrought many significant changes 
in the condition of the party. The industrial depression 
and the great railway strikes described in a preceding chap- 
ter had brought the social questions to the front. The ranks 
of the party were swelled, and many of the new converts 
were American working men. The popular sentiment was 
favorable to radical and reform politics, and the Socialist 
Labor Party was not slow in following up its advantage. 

From 1877 till 1879, during which time the labor excite- 
ments continued, the party conducted many spirited cam- 
paigns in state and local elections, and in some of its strong- 
holds it met with considerable success. In the city of Chi- 
cago about 7,000 votes were cast for the Socialist Labor 
Party in the fall of 1877, and in the spring of the following 
year one of its members, F. Straubert, was elected to the 
Cornmon Council. In the fall of 1 878 the Chicago social- 
ists elected three State Representatives — C. Ehrhardt, C. 
Meier, and Leo Meilbeck, and one State Senator, Sylvester 
Artley. These introduced in the legislature some bills pro- 
viding for the cash payment of wages, for the limitation of 
the hours of labor for women and children, an employers' 
liability act, and several similar bills, all of which were 
promptly defeated. They did, however, succeed in inducing 
the legislature to establish a bureau of labor statistics. In 
the spring of 1878 four socialists — Altpeter, Lorenz, Meier, 
and Straubert — were elected aldermen. In these elections 
the Socialist Labor Party ticket was headed by Dr. Ernst 
Schmidt, as candidate for the office of Mayor. Dr. Schmidt 


was a popular and influential German physician, a noted 
Marxian scholar, and a steadfast friend of the cause of labor. 
He received over 12,000 votes. 

In Cincinnati the Socialist Labor Party polled 9,000 votes 
in the fall elections of 1877, and in Cleveland it received 
3,000 votes. In St. Louis the party received 7,000 votes 
at the same time, and elected five members of the school 
board and two aldermen. 

In New York a state ticket was nominated in the fall of 
1879, with Caleb Pink as the candidate for Governor and 
Osborne Ward as candidate for Lieutenant-Governor. The 
ticket was supported by the sections of the party in New 
York, Brookyn, Albany, Troy, Utica, Syracuse, and Buffalo, 
but the state organization was extremely weak on the whole, 
and the total vote did not reach 10,000. 

Candidates were also nominated by the party in Detroit, 
Boston, New Orleans, and Denver. The party organizations 
in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Kan- 
sas, and Kentucky took no part in the political campaigns 
of that period, and in St. Louis and in a few other places 
the socialists occasionally cooperated with the Greenbackers. 

In California the organized working men, under the leader- 
ship of the eloquent agitator, Denis Kearney, had organized 
for political action as the "Working-Men's Party of Cali- 
fornia," and the Socialist Labor Party refrained from nomi- 
nating candidates of its own, " deeming it unwise and impru- 
dent to divide the forces of the labor movement." * 

The party as a whole did not participate in any national 

*The Kearney agitation forms one of the most picturesque pages in 
the history of the American labor movement. In 1877 the State of 
California presented a most critical economic and political situation. 
The waves of the great industrial depression which had struck the 
East in 1873 reached the Pacific coast much later, and its effects were 
still felt very keenly in 1877. The crisis was rendered still more acute 
by the wild stock speculations in which almost all social strata in 
California had engaged during the preceding years. Business was 
practically suspended. Mines, factories, and shops were closed, and 


election, and its total voting strength at the period under 
consideration is, therefore, largely a matter of conjecture: 
it has been variously estimated between 50,000 and 100,000. 

whatever little work there was was done principally by Chinese, who 
were at all times ready to work for half of the customary wages. 

The needs and sufferings of the population were intense, and the 
notoriously corrupt and incompetent State ofiScials showed themselves 
unable or unwilling to devise any efficient measures of relief. The 
army of unemployed working men in California, and particularly in 
the city of San Francisco, swelled on to tremendous proportions. 
Their discontent with the existing state of affairs grew louder and 
louder, and finally it found expression in the formation of the " Work- 
ing-Men's Party of California." The leading spirit of the party was 
Denis Kearney, a man of but little education and powers of reasoning, 
but endowed with the gift of popular oratory and possessed of inde- 
fatigable energy. ITnder the leadership of Kearney the party soon 
became a power in local politics. Its open-air meetings on the " Sand 
Lots " Of San Francisco were attended by thousands of enthusiastic 
listeners, its agitation became the all-absorbing topic of discussion in 
the press, its adherents grew daily, and when the city elections in San 
Francisco arrived the party carried the majority of offices. It was the 
Working-Men's Party of California also which, by its votes, decided 
that a new State constitution should be framed, and when the Consti- 
tutional Convention assembled in 1879 the party exercised a control- 
ling influence in the framing of the document. 

The new State constitution of California introduced a number of 
radical reforms intended for the purification of the State administra- 
tion, legislature, and judiciary; the curbing of the powers of corpo- 
rate capital, and the abolition of Chinese labor. This instrument for 
a time occasioned a good deal of fear among the possessing classes, 
but subsequent events proved the apprehension quite unfounded. 

The Kearney movement was but the expression of a vague and 
unenlightened discontent. It was not based on any definite social 
theory ; it offered no constructive measures ; its battle-cry was : 
" Down with the rich ! " and its platform was : " The Chinese must 
go ! " The movement lasted as long as the industrial crisis continued, 
and as soon as the first signs of returning prosperity appeared, it col- 
lapsed, leaving little, if any, traces behind it. The Working-Men's 
Party of California disbanded, and the new State constitution, which 
was its principal achievement, was so circumvented by succeeding 
legislatures and so " construed " and " trimmed " by the courts as to 
render it quite insignificant. 


This was certainly a promising beginning, considering 
the extraordinary difficulties with which the young organiza- 
tion had to cope, and enthusiasm ran high in the ranks of 
organized socialists in the United States. 

But the following year by no means justified the enthu- 
siastic expectations. The returning prosperity of the coun- 
try cut off the ground from the socialist agitation, which had 
just commenced to gain a foothold among the American 
working men. The Socialist Labor Party lost rapidly in 
membership and strength, and when the presidential elections 
of 1880 drew nearer, the party was in not much better con- 
dition to meet it than it had been in the previous election of 
1876. " It is to be regretted," said Van Patten in his official 
report to the Allegheny convention of the party (December 
26, 1876, to January i, 1880), "that our party has lost valu- 
able opportunities offered during the past two years, but 
which could not be properly grasped, as our own organization 
had not the experience and confidence necessary to control 
the vast numbers of discontented workmen who were ready 
to be organized. It is especially to be regretted that we had 
not secured the election of at least a dozen representatives 
in the legislature of every Northern State, since a party 
which has elected a number of representatives is considered 
tolerably permanent, while one who has not, is regarded by 
the public as transient and uncertain." 

The same report recommended participation in the ap- 
proaching presidential election, and this recommendation 
was the subject of the most heated discussions of the con- 

With very few exceptions the delegates were agreed 
upon the advisability of taking part in the election, but the 
controversy turned on the question of entering the cam- 
paign independently or in conjunction with other reform 

The national executive committee suggested that the party 
might unite on a ticket with the Working-Men's Party of Call- 


f ornia, the Greenback Party, and the Liberal Party, which last 
organization had recently been called into existence by the 
Liberal League, and had held a convention at Cincinnati in 
September, 1879, at which a semi-socialist platform was adopt- 
ed. The suggestion was received with favor by a number of 
delegates — Parsons and McGuire among them — but was 
strenuously opposed by others. Upon a vote the motion to 
fuse with other reform parties was defeated by a narrow mar- 
gin, and the convention decided to make independent nomina- 
tions for the ofifices of President and Vice-President. 

Caleb Pink, of New York, O. A. Bishop, of Illinois, and 
Osborne Ward, of New York, were placed in nomination. 
Of the twenty-four delegates present, nine abstained frpm 
voting, ten voted for Pink, four for Bishop, and one for 
Ward. Caleb Pink was thereupon declared the choice of 
the convention. 

At a later stage of the proceedings, however, the vote 
whereby Pink was nominated was reconsidered, and a reso- 
lution adopted to the effect that the names of all three can- 
didates be submitted to a general vote of the party members, 
the person receiving the highest vote to be the party's can- 
didate for President, and the one receiving the next highest 
vote to be its candidate for Vice-President. This resolution 
changed the entire situation. The proposition to nominate 
independent candidates for the offices of President and Vice- 
President was rejected in toto by the party, and in the elec- 
tions of 1880 the Socialist Labor Party supported the can- 
didates of the Greenback Party. 

2. The Greenback Party 

The Greenback movement was the immediate result of 
the financial crisis of 1873. It was the first and rather un- 
couth expression of popular protest against the aggressions 
of money capital, and took the shape of a currency-reform 


It was claimed that the bankers and bondholders of thiC 
country had conspired: to depreciate the war greenbacks 
by depriving them of their character of legal-tender for cus- 
toms and for the payment of the national debt ; then to buy 
United States bonds with such depreciated greenbacks; and 
finally to induce the Government to redeem the same bonds 
in gold. A popular agitation against this alleged conspiracy 
sprang up, and the movement finally crystallized in the for- 
mation of .the Greenback Party. 

The first convention of the party was held in Indianapolis 
in 1874, and a platform was adopted demanding several cur- 
rency reforms, chief among which were : 

1. The withdrawal of national bank-notes. 

2. That the only currency should be paper, and that such 
currency be exchangeable for United States interest-bear- 
ing bonds. 

3. That coin be used only for the payment of such bonds 
as called expressly for payment in coin.* 

These demands appealed principally to the farmers and 
small business men who had mortgages and other debts to 
pay, and the movement was for a long time confined to those 
classes. The industrial laborers manifested but little inter- 
est in it. 

In 1876 the party nominated the well-known New York 
philanthropist, Peter Cooper, for President of the United 
States, and Samuel F. Cory, of Ohio, for Vice-President. 
The ticket received little over 80,000 votes. 

The movement was almost exploded, when the great strikes 
and labor agitation of 1877 brought new life into it and gave 
it an entirely new turn. The financial issues were relegated 
to the background, and the demands of labor took their 
place. In 1 878 the national convention of the party, held at 
Toledo, Ohio, was attended by a number of labor leaders, and 
the party name was changed to " Greenback Labor Party." 

* See article on "The Greenback Party " in the "Encyclopedia of 
Social Reforms," by Wm. D. P. Bliss, New York, 1898. 


The movement gained popularity among the industrial 
workers in the East, and in the ensuing congressional elec- 
tions the party polled about 1,000,000 votes and elected four- 
teen representatives to Congress. In the presidential elec- 
tions of 1880 the Greenback Labor Party nominated James 
B. Weaver, of Iowa, and B. J. Chambers, of Texas, as its 
candidates for President and Vice-President. But the popu- 
lar excitement had already subsided, and the Greenback vote 
sank to 300,000. Henceforward the party was declining 
steadily. The last national ticket nominated by it was that 
of 1884, when Gen. B. F. Butler, ex-congressman and ex- 
governor of Massachusetts, who had in turn been Demo- 
cratic, Republican, and labor politician, was its candidate f ot 
President. Butler also received the indorsement of the 
anti-monopolists, and polled a vote of about 175,000. After 
that election the Greenbackers drifted gradually into the 
ranks of the old parties and ceased to exist as an indepen^ 
ent political factor. 

As long as the Greenback Party had limited its agitation 
to currency reform, the Socialist Labor Party strenuously 
discountenanced all political alliances with it, but since 1878, 
when it came in closer touch with the labor movement, the 
party's attitude toward it was more friendly. As shown in 
the preceding chapter, some sections of the party had sup- 
ported the Greenbackers in the elections of 1878 and 1879, 
but this support was given unofficially, and was tolerated, 
but not encouraged, by the party administration. It was 
only in 1880 that the Socialist Labor Party, as such, officially \ 
decided to support the Greenback Party. As soon as the 
decision was reached, the national executive committee of 
the party issued a call to all of its sections and to all trade- 
unions in sympathy with it to send delegates to a conference 
to be held in Chicago on August 8, 1880. -The national 
nominating convention of the Greenback Labor Party was to 
be held in the same city on the gth day of August, and it was 
understood that the conference of August 8th would prac- 


tically be a caucus meeting of the socialist elements expected 
to attend the Greenback convention. About ninety delegates 
responded to the call. Of these, more than half were Chi- 
cago residents who had received credentials as proxies from 
various minor sections, and thirty-eight were direct repre- 
sentatives of their respective sections. Among the latter 
were Philip Van Patten, the party's secretary ; Dr. Douai, P. 
J. McGuire, R. Parsons, Mrs. L. Parsons, T. J. Morgan, and 
other prominent members of the Socialist Labor Party. 

In the socialist caucus it was decided to apply for admis- 
sion to the Greenback convention as a body, and to vote as a 
unit on all questions. It was further resolved that the party 
insist upon the admission of twenty to fifty delegates from 
its midst, and upon the appointment of seven socialists on 
the platform committee. 

Dr. Douai, as the spokesman of the caucus, presented 
these demands to the convention ""in behalf of 100,000 voters 
represented by the Socialist Labor Party." 

The demands were substantially conceded ; the socialists 
were given the required representation on the platform com- 
mittee and were allowed forty-four votes on the floor of the 
convention. At a later stage of the proceedings, however, 
a ruling was made all that votes be taken by States, to 
which ruling the socialists refused to submit, and during the 
remainder of the convention they abstained from voting 

The main work of the socialists in the convention was in 
connection with the drafting of the platform. They strove 
to bring the views expressed in that document as close to 
their conception of social evolution and the class struggle as 
possible. But they had an extremely hard task. The Green- 
back convention was composed of many heterogeneous 
reform elements with many incongruous social views; the 
currency reformer, the land reformer, the anti-monopolist, 
the Chinese-exclusion advocate, and the pure and simple 
trade-unionist were all represented. Each of them demanded 



recognition of his special hobby in the platform, and in 
most instances the demands were acceded to with little 
regard to the unity and consistency of the document as a 
whole. The influence of the socialist thought is unmistak- 
able in the opening clauses of the platform, which were as 
follows: ',.;;|^^ 

" Civil government should guarantee the divine right of ^ 
every laborer to the resultsjof his toil, thus enabling the pro- ,/ W 
ducers of wealth ta, provide themselves with the means for 
physical comfort and the facilities for mental, social, and 
moral culture ; and we condemn as unworthy of our civiliza- 
tion the barbarism which imposes upon the wealth producers 
a state of perpetual drudgery as the price of bare animal 

"Notwithstanding the enormous increase of productive 
power, the universal introduction of labor-saving machinery, 
and the discovery of new agents for the increase of wealth, 
the task of the laborer is scarcely lightened, and the hours 
of toil are but little shortened, and few producers are lifted 
from poverty into comfort and pecuniary independence." 

It was also on motion of the socialist Morgan that the 
convention, after much discussion, adopted a plank calling 
for the collective ownership of the land. 

On the whole, however, the socialists were not well satis- 
fied with the platform and management of the Greenback 
Party, and participated in its presidential campaign in a half- 
hearted way. 

Immediately after the campaign the alliance with the ) 
Greenbackers was dissolved, never to be renewed again, ex- 
cept in a few isolated instances. 

In the elections of 1881 the socialists took no part. "A ,; 
socialist campaign in this country is useless," argued the 
New York Volkszeitung, "■ vcsA&s^ the American vote can be 
reached by it. But as the party is constituted at present, 
it can only reach the German working men." The Volks- ' 
zeitung, therefore, advised the party members to concen- 


trate their efforts on the establishment of an English so- 
cialist daily newspaper. 

The disorganized state of the socialist movement during 
the years following, and the all-absorbing struggles with 
anarchism, made it impossible for the party to conduct a 
systematic political campaign, and only local candidates were 
occasionally nominated by way of exception. Thus the 
party invariably nominated a candidate for Assembly in the 
Tenth Assembly District of New York, which during these 
years uniformly cast from 700 to 1,000 socialist votes. 

In the presidential elections of 1884 the Socialist Labor 
Party nominated no candidates, and supported none of those 
nominated by the other parties. The continued abstention 
from voting and the seemingly hopeless condition of Ameri- 
can politics had made the party skeptical as to the efficacy 
of the ballot-box, and the following correspondence, published 
in the Zurich Social Democrat on November 14, 1884,* is 
probably a correct expression of the contemporaneous atti- 
tude of the socialists on the subject : 

" Our comrades in America have taken no part in the 
elections, but have proclaimed abstention from voting. Both 
great political parties, the Republican and the Democratic, 
are capitalistic. The struggle against corruption was a war 
cry in which the socialists would surely have joined, but 
the men who first sounded it were of such quality that the 
incorrigible skeptics doubted their ability and even their 
desire to clean out the Augean stables. The third party, 
composed of former Greenbackers and others, with General 
Butler at the head, our party could also not support, because 
the society was a rather promiscuous one, and General But- * 
ler, a skilful demagog but by no means a reliable cus- 
tomer. To enter into the campaign independently, our party 
was too weak, and, what is still more important, it was of 
the opinion that the presidential elections are nowadays but 
a humbug and cannot be anything else." 

* Reprinted in Waterhausen's " Moderner Sozialismus," p. 268, 


It was only in 1886 that the Socialist Labor Party was 
roused from its political lethargy. The intense labor excite- 
ments of that year, engendered by a long period of industrial 
depression and the struggles for an eight-hour work-day, 
assumed the form of a political movement in many impor- 
tant places. 

In Chicago a " United Labor Party " was organized on the 
initiative of the Central Labor Union. The party was com- 
posed of members of the American Federation of Labor, 
Knights of Labor, radical elements of all kinds, socialists, 
and even anarchists. It cast over 20,000 votes for its county 
ticket in the fall of 1886, and in the following spring elec- 
tions it mustered no less than 28,000 votes for its candidate 
for Mayor. 

In Wisconsin a " Union Labor Party " was organized by 
the Knights of Labor in conjunction with the remnants of 
the Greenback Party. The movement was strongly sup- 
ported by the local socialists, and obtained some practical 
results in the city of Milwaukee. 

In Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, 
New York, Maryland, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, 
Missouri, and Colorado similar parties were organized. The 
parties were composed principally of trade-unionists, Knights 
of Labor, and Greenbackers ; and in New York, New Jer- 
sey, Missouri, and Ohio the socialists also supported the 
movement. The parties were knov/n in different places as 
" United Labor Party," " Union Labor Party," " Industrial 
Labor Party," '• Labor Reform Party," or simply " Labor 
Party." They reached their highest bloom in the fall elec- 
tions of 1886, when several of their local tickets were elected ; 
the next year witnessed a rapid decline of the movement, y 
and in 1888 very few of them survived. By far the most 
important political campaign of that period conducted by 
organized labor was that of the City of New York. 

Here the Central Labor Union inaugurated a movement 
for independent political action of the working men in the 


early part of the summer of 1 886. On the Sth day of July of 
that year a conference of representatives of labor organiza- 
tions was held in Clarendon Hall for the purpose of launch- 
ing the movement. Over 300 delegates were present, and 
on a vote being taken, 286 of these declared themselves em- 
phatically in favor of nominating an independent labor ticket 
in the ensuing mayoralty campaign, and only forty opposed 
the plan. Several more conferences were held, and the move- 
ment grew in strength and enthusiasm from week to week. 
A municipal platform was adopted, and a permanent party 
organization was created under the name of " United Labor 
Party " of New York. On the 2d day of September, 1 886, 
a city convention of the party was held in Clarendon Hall, 
and amid deafening cheers and shouts of enthusiasm the 
convention nominated as its candidate for Mayor and stand- 
ard bearer of the young movement — Henry George. 

3. The Henry George Movement 

Henry George was born in Philadelphia in 1839. He 
finished his school education at the age of thirteen, worked a 
short time as office boy, then went to sea, visiting many 
parts of the world. At the age of sixteen he returned to 
Philadelphia and learned the trade of typesetting, but follow- 
ing his irrepressible love for travel, he soon enlisted again on 
shipboard, went to Calcutta, and thence to San Francisco, 
where he finally settled. 

In San Francisco he worked successively as compositor 
and reporter, and in 1871 he was one of the founders and 
part owners of the San Francisco Evening Post. It was at 
this time that George became interested in the study of 
social problems. In 1871 he published his first work, "Our 
Land and Land Policy," which attracted but scanty atten- 
tion. But an altogether different reception was accorded to 
his second work, published eight years later under the title 
" Progress and Poverty." 


As intimated by the rather striking title, the work is de- 
voted to an inquiry into the causes of the persistence of 
popular poverty amid advancing wealth. Our present era, 
argues George, has been marked by a prodigious develop- 
ment of wealth-producing power. It should have been 
expected that the increase of general wealth and material 
comfort would benefit humanity as a whole ; that poverty 
would vanish ; that all vices and crimes engendered by it 
would disappear, and that a state of general social happiness 
and contentment would ensue. But instead of it we see that 
the increased blessings of civilization are being enjoyed by 
a comparatively small number of men, while the greater 
part of the population still succumbs to poverty, and destitu- 
tion is most appalling where luxury is greatest. There is 
evidently some factor in our system of wealth production 
and distribution, concludes the author, which associates pov- 
erty with the progress of our civilization. What is that 
factor ? Henry George finds it to be the private ownership 
of land, i.e., all "natural opportunities," such as soil, mines, 
rights of way, etc., exclusive of the improvements connected 
therewith. There can be no right to property in land, he de- 
clares. Man has a right to the possession of the products 
of his labor. A man who makes a coat, builds a house, or 
constructs a machine, has an exclusive right of ownership in 
it. But who made the earth, and what man can claim the 
right to give or sell it ? The value of land has no reference 
to the cost of production or the labor expended on it. The 
value of the labor expended on it is the value of the improve- 
ment, but the value of land as land depends on natural causes, 
such as fertility ; or social causes, such as the agglomeration 
of a vast number of people in a certain area. Justice, there- 
fore, requires that the land and the increase of its value be 
the common heritage of the whole nation. But, instead, it 
is being monopolized by a small class of landowners, who 
appropriate all the benefits of it, and tax a high rent for its 
use and occupation. This system makes it possible for a 


number of men to hold large areas of land for speculative 
purposes, thus withdrawing it from actual use. And as land 
is in the last analysis the source of all wealth, the withhold- 
ing of any part of it results in the curtailment of wealth pro- 
duction for the nation. 

Furthermore, so long as land is free to all, everybody can 
gain his subsistence by agriculture or by industrial pursuits 
on a small scale, but so soon as land becomes private prop- 
erty, it is only the man who can afford to pay a high rent — 
the capitalist — who can engage in any industry, while the 
poor man is compelled to sell his labor for the best price 

And, lastly, rent being an arbitrary tax on production, it 
draws from the profits of capital and wages of labor alike, 
impoverishes both, gives rise to industrial crises, and pro- 
duces an unjust distribution of wealth which is building up 
immense fortunes in the hands of a few while the masses 
grow relatively poorer and poorer. 

"Nothing short of making land common property can 
permanently relieve poverty," concludes George. 

This object, however, the author desires to attain gradu- 
ally by means of an increasing tax on land values, so that the 
tax shall ultimately equal the full rental value of the land, 
with the result that, tho the title to it would still be nomi- 
nally in the individual owner, all income from it would go to 
the State. 

George proposes to abolish all taxes save this tax on land 
value, and his theory hence assumed the designation of the 
" Single-Tax " theory. 

To understand the great influence of the work it must he 
borne in mind that it appeared at a time when social prob- 
lems and land-reform theories were warmly agitated. The 
fascinating style in which the book was written and the tone 
of self-assurance and sincerity of conviction with which the 
novel and bold conclusions of the author were announced, 
contributed largely to its success. It was one of the popu- 


lar books which, like popular leaders, appear occasionally as 
the embodiment of a vague public sentiment, and give color 
and direction to that sentiment. 

The book engendered a spontaneous enthusiasm, it was 
printed in many editions, translated into many languages, 
and became the universal topic of discussion in labor circles 
and scientific publications. The obscure Western journal- 
ist all of a sudden became one of the most famous men of 
his day. His name became a household word in all parts of 
the United States. He gained thousands of ardent disciples 
in this country as well as on the continent of Europe, and 
numerous "land and labor" clubs were organized for the 
purpose of propagating his theories. George was an elo- 
quent and convincing speaker, and the extensive lecture 
tours arranged for him in the principal cities of the United 
States, as well as in Ireland and England, served to enhance 
his popularity still more. 

Such was the man whom the working people of New York 
chose for their leader in the municipal campaign of 1886. 

George did not accept the nomination without attaching a 
rather unusual condition to it. He demanded that his con- 
stituents obtain the signatures of at least 30,000 citizens and 
residents of the City of New York to a statement that they 
desired his nomination and would vote for him. This, he 
explained, would accomplish two purposes : It would demon- 
strate that there was a popular demand for his candidacy, 
and would show to the indifferent that he had good chances 
of being elected, so that they could vote for him without fear 
of " throwing away " their votes. The extraordinary condi- 
tion did not impair the enthusiasm of the movement by any 
means. On the contrary, it instigated the working men to 
greater activity. Within a very short time more than the 
required number of signatures were obtained, and the cam- 
paign was under full steam. Meetings were held by the 
score, campaign literature was distributed broadcast, and 
when, toward the end of September, a street demonstration 


was arranged, no less than 3S,ooo people marched in line 

enthusiastically shouting the name of Henry George under 

the loud applause of the sympathetic crowds of bystanders. 

, In October the United Labor Party established The 

I Leader, a daily newspaper published in the interest of the 

J Henry George campaign. It was a four-page paper, sold at 

one cent, and soon reached a circulation of 100,000. 

The movement assumed such proportions that the old 
parties took alarm at it and sought to offset the popularity 
of George by nominating the strongest available candidates 
at the head of their tickets. The Democrats nominated the 
noted philanthropist and son-in-law of Peter Cooper, Abram 
S. Hewitt, while the Republicans nominated the present 
chief executive of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, 
then a young and promising politician. 

The day of election was one of great excitement for the 

City of New York, and when the vote was finally counted 

it was found that George had received over 68,000 votes to 

about 90,000 cast for Hewitt and 60,000 for Roosevelt.* 

Thus closed the most memorable political campaign ever 

conducted by the working men of New York. 

/ r The socialists were at no time in sympathy with Henry 

/ / George as the apostle of a new social creed. While they 

[ j agreed with him on the criticism of the present system of 

I ' wealth production and distribution, they differed widely 

I from him in the analysis of the causes of the evil and the 

remedy proposed. 

The single-taxer regards land-ownership as one of the most 
fundamental factors in our industrial life ; the socialist con- 
siders modern factory production the dominant feature of 

* The supporters of Henry George contended that the latter had ac- 
tually been elected Mayor by the popular vote and that he had been 
" counted out." Certainly this belief formed a main incentive to 
George and his followers in causing them subsequently to agitate for 
the introduction of the Australian secret-ballot system in the State of 
New York, a reform which has been accomplished in various phases, 
not only in that State, but throughout the Union, 


present civilization. The single-taxer recognizes but one 
_form of economic exploitation — rent, i.e., the return made | 
for the use of land ; the socialist asserts that •' surplus ! 
value," i.e., the unpaid part of the working man's labor, is I 
the source of all exploitation, and that it is from this " sur- 
plus value " that rent as well as interest and profit are drawn. 
The single-taxer thus consistently sees the root of all social 
and economic evils of our civilization in the private owner- 
ship of land — in which term he includes all franchises and 
special privileges in the use of land — while the socialist op- 
poses the private ownership of all means of production, ma- 
chinery, etc., as well as land as above defined. 

The single-taxer would abolish the landlord and monopo- 
list of " land values," but continue the existence of the capi- 
talist and wage-worker ; the socialist strives to wipe out all 
class distinction and to introduce complete economic equal- 
ity. The single-tax theory professes to be an absolute and 
scientific truth applicable to all ages and conditions alike, 
while socialism claims to be a theory growing out of modern 
economic conditions, and expecting its realization from the 
steadily growing concentration and socialization of industry. 
The single-taxer, lastly, is an earnest supporter of the com- 
petitive system of industry, while the socialist is as ardent 
a coUectivist. 

Thus the two social theories differ very materially in their 
views, aims, and methods. 

The socialists of New York never attempted to conciliate 
or minimize this difference. They supported the Henry 
George movement solely for the reason that they saw in it 
a movement of labor against capital, and they indorsed the 
candidacy of Henry George " not on account of his single- 
tax theory, but in spite of it," as the Volkszeitung put it. 

Nor did Henry George and his most prominent supporters 
feel any friendlier toward the socialists. The platform of 
the United Labor Party as originally drafted consisted sub- 
stantially of the so-called " immediate demands " of the So- 


cialist Labor Party, and wound up by the classic declaration 
of the Communist Manifesto that " the emancipation of the 
working class can Only be accomplished by the working 
class itself ; " but as soon as George accepted the nomination, 
the platform was replaced by a document of an entirely 
different tenor, based in the main on the land theory of 
Henry George, and demanding various land, currency, and tax 
reforms, along with some factory and labor legislation. 

During the campaign the antagonism between the two 
camps was carefully repressed by both sides, but as soon as 
the election was over, it Ijroke out into open hostility. 

The war was first carried on on purely theoretical grounds : 
the socialist press combated the single-tax theory as such, 
while George retorted in kind by criticizing the theories of 
socialism in his Standard. 

But when the campaign of 1887 drew nearer, the contro- 
versy gradually assumed a more practical aspect, and finally 
it came to an open clash within the organization. The 
immediate pretext for it was the interpretation of Article i. 
Section 2, of the constitution of the United Labor Party, 
which required the members of the organization to sever 
their connections with other political parties. On a previous 
occasion the New York County executive committee had 
decided that the section had no application to the Socialist 
Labor Party, since the latter was not a political party in the 
accepted sense of the term ; but when the County general 
committee met on August 4, 1887, the point was raised 
again, and the previous decision was reversed, thus virtually 
expelling the members of the Socialist Labor Party. The deci- 
sion precipitated a general commotion in the organization. 
Several Assembly Districts protested against the ruling and 
demanded its rescission, others approved of it, and in a few 
instances the question produced schisms in the district or- 

It was under these circumstances that the state conven- 
tion of the United Labor Party assembled at Syracuse on 


the 17th day of August. It was expected that the conven- 
tion would deal with the status of the socialists in the party, 
and both sides were represented in full array. Out of the 
i6g delegates who presented credentials, twenty-six were 
avowed socialists, while many more were in sympathy with 
them. The Eighth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Assembly Dis- 
tricts of New York were each represented by two rival dele- 
gations, one elected by the socialist elements within the or- 
ganization, the other by the anti-socialists, and the debate 
arose on the question of the regularity of the contesting dele- 
gations. In the ensuing discussion great latitude was al- 
lowed, and all phases of socialism were drawn into the de- 

Socialism was warmly defended by S. E. Schewitsch, 
Walter Vrooman, Lawrence Gronlund, Hugo Vogt, Col. R. 
J. Hinton, and others,; while the campaign against it was led 
by Henry George himself, who was ably seconded by 
McGlynn, McMackin^ and others. The discussion lasted 
about eighteen hours, and when a vote was finally taken, it 
was found that the socialists were barred from the conven- 
tion by a large majority. '' 

The convention thereupon nominated a state ticket, headed 
by Henry George as candidate for the office of Secretary of 
State, adopted a platform, and adjourned. 1 

The expulsion of the socialists from the United Labor^ 
Party had the effect of weakening the organization to a great \ 
extent. The socialists had been energetic and devoted 
workers in the movement, and much of the success of the 
campaign of 1886 had been due to their activity. 

Besides, the labor excitement of 1886 was greatly allayed, 
the eight-hour day agitation relaxed its intensity, and the 
working men gradually lost interest in their political organi- 

The United Labor Party was on the decline, and its dis- 
solution was accelerated by the strife among the leaders. 
In the contest between George and McGlynn for the 



supremacy within the organization the latter prevailed. 
George withdrew from the United Labor Party and cast his 
fortunes with the Democratic Party. 

Under the leadership of McGlynn the United Labor 
Party conducted one more political campaign, that of 1888, 
but the results were so insignificant that the movement was 
given up as hopeless, and no attempt was made to revive it 
for the following campaign. 

4. Independent Politics Again 

The fate of the socialist delegates in the Syracuse con- 
vention of the United Labor Party had only served to 
enhance the popularity of their cause. The expulsion of the 
socialists from the organization on technical grounds was 
resented by many adherents of Henry George and caused a 
revulsion of feeling in favor of the socialists. 

When the defeated delegates returned to New York, they 
were received with a veritable ovation. Their report and 
comments were heard by several thousand working men at a 
mass-meeting held in the large hall of the Cooper Union 
Institute, and it was then and there decided to call a confer- 
ence of all radical labor organizations to consider the advisa- 
bility of organizing a political party in opposition to the 
United Labor Party. 

The first meeting of the conference was held on the 4th 
day of September, 1887, at Webster Hall, in the City of New 
York. Eighty-seven organizations were represented, fifty- 
six of these being trade-unions and thirty-one political or- 
ganizations, mostly subdivisions of the Socialist Labor Party. 

The conference constituted itself as a political party under 
the name Progressive Labor Party, adopted a platform which 
was practically identical with the one the United Labor 
Party had originally adopted and subsequently discarded, 
and called a state convention for the purpose of nominating 


The convention was held in the City of New York on the 
28th day of September. John Swinton was nominated for 
the office of Secretary of State to run against Henry George, 
but he declined on account of failing health, and J. Edward 
Hall* was substituted in his stead. 

The campaign of the Progressive Labor Party was practi- 
cally confined to the City of New York. It was brief and 
rather dull. The total number of votes cast for its ticket 
barely exceeded 5,000. 

This was the last political campaign conducted by the So- 
cialist Labor Party in conjunction with any other political 

The enthusiasm of the movement of 1886 had aroused 
the socialists from their political lethargy, while the dis- 
appointments of 1887 had demonstrated to them the futility 
of fusion politics. Henceforward the socialists adhered un- 
swervingly to the policy of independent political action. The 
socialists of New York initiated the movement by placing 
in the field a full ticket in 1888. In the City of New York 
the gubernatorial, mayoralty, congressional, and presidential 
elections coincided that year. J. Edward Hall was nomi- 
nated for Governor, Alexander Jonas for Mayor, and a full 
list of other state, local, and congressional candidates was put 
in the field. But a rather embarrassing question arose on the 
nomination of a presidential ticket. A presidential ticket 
presupposes a national campaign, but the political activity 
of the party was practically confined to the City of New 
York. Besides, the platform of the Socialist Labor Party at 
that time contained a plank demanding the abolition of the 
Presidency of the United States, and it seemed inconsistent 
to nominate a candidate for an office to the existence of 
which the party was opposed. The difficulty was finally 
overcome by a rather ingenious device : the party nominated 

* Bom at Glen Cove, L. I., in 1851. He was a machinist by trade, 
and very prominent in the local socialist and trade-union movements 
alike. He died of consumption in 1889. 


a full ticket of presidential electors with instructions to cast 
their votes in the electoral college for " No President." 

In that campaign less than 3,000 votes were cast for the 
socialist ticket in the entire State of New York. Of this 
number about 2,500 fell to the credit of the City of New 
York, 232 votes were cast in Albany, 49 in Syracuse, and 32 
in Utica. Outside of the State of New York the socialists 
had nominated candidates in only two places, Milwaukee 
and New Haven. They received 5 86 votes in the former and 
82 in the latter. 

The results were so disheartening that the New York 
Volkszeitung, and with it some of the foremost party leaders, 
again counseled abstention from politics. 

But the advocates of independent political action within 
the ranks of the party were by no means discouraged by the 
first failure, and urged the policy of continued participation 
in all elections regardless of results. 

The next national convention of the party held at Chicago 
in 1889 upheld the latter policy, and in 1890 we find the so- 
cialists of New York again actively engaged in politics. In 
that year some radical reform elements in the City of New 
York, led by the " nationalists," had constituted themselves 
into a " Commonwealth Party," and it was at first sought to 
bring about a political agreement between them and the so- 
cialists. But at the very first conference of the two organi- 
zations it became manifest that they differed materially in 
their aims and views, and the thought of political coopera- 
tion was abandoned. The Commonwealth Party did not 
succeed in obtaining the requisite number of signatures for 
its candidates on the state ticket, and limited itself to local 
nominations in the City of New York, where it polled less 
than 700 votes. The Socialist Labor Party nominated a full 
state ticket headed by PVanz Gerau, a popular Brooklyn 
physician, as candidate for the office of Judge of the Court 
of Appeals, and polled 13,704 votes in the State. 

What had greatly contributed to the comparative success 


of the ticket was the introduction of the Australian secret- 
ballot system in the State of New York. Owing to this 
system, the names of the party's candidates appeared on the 
ballot in every one of the sixty-one counties of the State, 
and, to the great surprise of the socialists themselves, every 
county but one (Delaware) cast some votes for the ticket. 

In the following year the socialist vote in the State of 
New York rose to 14,651 cast for Daniel De Leon, the 
party's candidate for Governor. At the same time the social- 
ists of Massachusetts and New Jersey made their debut in 
politics, the former polling a vote of 1,429, and the latter, 

In 1892 the socialists for the first time nominated a presi- 
dential ticket in the United States. This step was decided 
upon in a " national " party conference held in the month of 
September at the party headquarters in the City of New York. 
The conference was attended by eight representatives com- 
ing from the States of New York, New Jersey, Massachu- 
setts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Simon Wing, of Bos- 
ton, Mass., a manufacturer of photographic instruments, was 
nominated President, and Charles H. Matchett of Brooklyn, 
N. Y., an electrician, was nominated Vice-President. The 
party had tickets in six States and polled a total vote of 
21,512. From that time on new States were drawn into the 
circle of socialist politics every year, and the socialist vote 
rose slowly but steadily, as the following figures will indicate : 


In the presidential elections of 1896 the socialists noini- 
nated Charles H. Matchett for President and Matthew 
Maguire for Vice-President, and polled a total vote of 36,275 
in twenty States of the Union. 

In the following year, however, the Socialist Labor Party 
vote rose to 55,550, and in 1898 it reached the figure of 


82,204 ; * this was the highest vote ever polled by the Social- 
ist Labor Party as such. 


I. Local Organizations 

The efforts of the Socialist Labor Party to gain the friend- 
ship of the trade-unions have been described in a previous 
chapter. These efforts, while not very successful on the 
whole, still bore good fruit in some instances. 

A number of local trade-unions were in outspoken sympa- 
thy with the Socialist Labor Party, and the influence of the 
party was especially pronounced in some of the central or- 
ganizations formed by such local unions. Of the latter type 
of organizations, the most important was the Central Labor- 
Union of New York, of which the following is a brief his- 
torical sketch : 

In the beginning of 1882, when the Irish land question 
was warmly agitated in this country, several labor organiza- 
tions had taken it upon themselves to arrange a mass-meet- 
ing in the large hall of the Cooper Union Institute, to express 
their sympathy with the Irish tenants. The meeting was 
attended by a number of representative trade-union men, 
and the formation of a permanent central committee of all 
trade-unions in the City of New York was then and there 
suggested. This suggestion was promptly acted upon, and 
on the 30th day of January, 1882, the first meeting of the 
Central Labor-Union of the City of New York was held. 
Fourteen organizations were represented, the German ele- 
ment predominating. The Central Labor-Union adopted a 
platform containing the principal socialist demands. 

Philip Van Patten, national secretary of the Socialist 
Labor Party, delivered an address to the delegates, and 

* The figures are taken from Lucien Sanial's "Socialist Almanac". 


Matthew Maguire, another socialist, was elected secretary of 
the body. Within the six months following, the number of 
organizations represented in the Central Labor-Union rose 
to forty-five, and in a very short time the body became the 
most important factor in the labor movement of New 
York. The friendly relations of the Central Labor-Union 
with the Socialist Labor Party continued for several years. 

In 1882, and again in 1883, the Central Labor-Union en- 
tered on the municipal Campaigns of the City of New York 
as an independent organization, polling a little over 10,000 
votes each time, and in 1886 it inaugurated the famous 
Henry George campaign. 

The strength developed by organized labor during the 
latter campaign attracted the attention of the professional 
politicians, who now vied with each other in the endeavor to 
gain the good graces of the delegates to the Central Labor. 
Union. As long as the enthusiasm engendered by the 
George movement lasted, these attempts were unsuccessful, 
but with the collapse of the movement, a period of political 
demoralization set in, and many a labor leader was found to 
lend a willing ear to the promises of the old party managers. 
Rumors of "boodle" and "corruption" were ripe in the 
Central Labor-Union, factions were formed, and finally it 
came to an open breach. In February, 1889, after a stormy 
meeting in which charges of bribery in connection with the 
brewers' pool boycott were freely exchanged, about sixty 
delegates left the meeting-hall in a body, and formed a new 
organization under the name Central Labor Federation. 
After a separate existence of a few months the two organiza- 
tions opened negotiations for a reunion. Several confer- 
ences were held, some objectionable elements were with- 
drawn from the Central Labor-Union as a concession to the 
Federation, and the two bodies were formally reunited in 
December, 1889. 

But the union was not lasting. The antagonism between 
the opposing elements broke out anew, the meetings of the 


body were consumed by heated discussions and mutual re- 
criminations, and in June, 1890, another separation took 
place, and the Central Labor Federation was revived. 

The Central Labor Federation consisted originally of thirty 
trade-unions, but the number soon' grew to seventy-two. 
Among these were some of the strongest and most progres- 
sive organizations. The Socialist Labor Party was formally 
represented in the body, and for a long time exercised a 
controlling influence on all its deliberations. In 1900 the 
two organizations again consolidated, assuming the name of 
Central Federated Union. 

The Central Labor-Union and the Central Labor Federa- 
tion were by no means the only organizations of that kind in 
the United States. Similar organizations under the same or 
different names sprang up in all industrial cities of the Union, 
and some of them, notably the Central Labor Federations of 
Brooklyn and Hudson County, the Central Labor-Unions of 
Rochester, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, the Trade 
Council of New Haven, and the Trade and Labor Assembly 
of Chicago, were in accord with the socialist movement. 

The greatest support, however, the Socialist Labor Party 
received from the German trade-unions in the City of New 
York, which in 1885 had organized a separate central body 
under the name United German Trades of the City of 
New York. This body was called into existence primarily 
for the purpose of supporting the labor press. During the 
four years of its existence it rendered valuable services to 
the New York Volkszeitung by extending its circulation, 
increasing its advertisements, and raising funds for its publi- 
cation. It was also on the initiative of the United German 
Trades that the English organ of the Henry George cam-. 
paign, the daily Leader, was established in 1886, and when 
the paper later on passed into the hands of the socialists, the 
German Trades assisted it financially and otherwise to the 
very end of its brief career. 

The United German Trades were organized by the repre- 


sentatives of about twelve trade-unions, but the number was 
soon quadrupled. 

The example of New York was followed by Brooklyn, 
Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, Buffalo, and some other 
places, in all of which central bodies of German trade-unions 
were formed, and in 1 887 the New York organization initi- 
ated a plan to form a national confederation of German trade- 
unions. But the plan never materialized, and the United 
German Trades themselves soon began to show signs of de- 
cline. As long as these bodies adhered to the original object 
of their creation, the support of the labor press, they per- 
formed a useful function in the labor movement, and pros- 
pered, but when toward 1888 they commenced to occupy 
themselves with general trade matters, they came in conflict 
with existing older and stronger central labor bodies, and 
not infrequently caused considerable confusion in the local 
movement. Many trade-unions disapproved of the new 
policy, and withdrew their delegates, and the United German 
Trades gradually disbanded. 

An organization similar in scope and character to that 
of the United German Trades was the United Hebrew 
Trades, organized in the City of New York toward 1888. 
In the beginning of the eighties of the last century the im- 
migration of Russian Jews to this country had assumed 
enormous dimensions. Thousands of these immigrants 
landed at the port of New York every week, and the ma-, 
jority of them settled on the lower East side of that city. 
Their principal industry was tailoring in all its branches, and. 
within a few years they acquired a practical monopoly of the 
trade. Within the bounds of their settlement in the City of 
New York, which became the most congested spot on the 
face of the globe, hundreds of tailoring shops sprang up. 
These shops, popularly known as " sweat-shops," were as a 
rule conducted by middlemen or "contractors," with whose 
living rooms they were frequently connected. They were 
always dingy, uncleanly, and ill-ventilated, and in them scores 


of men, women, and children were indiscriminately crowded 
together, working at times fifteen hours and more at a 
stretch for incredibly low wages. 

Several attempts had been made from time to time to 
organize them, but the attempts had met with but poor suc- 
cess until the spring of 1888. By that time, however, the 
wages of the Jewish tailors had sunk so very low, and their 
conditions of work had become so very wretched, that even 
they, the men of so few needs, rebelled. 

A series of strikes was inaugurated by them. The knee- 
pants-makers were the first to open fire and they were soon 
followed by the pants-makers, the cloak-makers, the shirt- 
makers, and the jacket-makers, and within a very few weeks 
an army of no less than 15,000 Jewish tailors had laid down 
work, demanding better pay and shorter hours. 

The strikers were unorganized and undisciplined, and it is 
very doubtful whether they would have accomplished any- 
thing substantial without the aid of the socialists. The latter 
practically assumed the entire charge of the situation. They 
organized the strikers into trade-unions, collected strike 
funds for them, directed their battle, and led them to victory. 
It was shortly after that and likewise on the initiative of the 
Jewish socialists that the United Hebrew Trades was or- 
ganized. It is, therefore, natural that there was at all times 
a strong bond of sympathy between the Jewish trade-union 
movement and the socialist movement : most of the organ- 
izers, leaders, and speakers of the Jewish trade-unions came 
from the ranks of the Socialist Labor Party, and in return 
the organized Jewish working men for a number of years 
heartily cooperated with the party in all it undertook, and 
promptly responded to all of its appeals. 

United Hebrew Trades after the pattern of the New York 
body were also organized in Newark and Philadelphia, and, 
I believe, in one or two more places. 

The Socialist Labor Party thus acquired considerable in- 
fluence in several important local organizations of labor, but 


its struggles for a footing in the great national confedera- 
tions of trade-unions were much harder and less successful, 
as will be shown in the following chapters. 

2. The Knights of Labor 

The once powerful order of the Knights of Labor had a 
very humble beginning. 

In the sixties of the last century the garment-cutters of 
Philadelphia organized a Union of their trade. The Union 
soon incurred the displeasure of the employers, and its mem- 
bers were frequently compelled to choose between their 
organization and their jobs. Under these circumstances it 
was deemed best to abandon the open organization, and in 
December, 1869, seven membgfrs of the Union, headed by 
U. S. Stephens and James L. Wright, organized a secret so- 
ciety under the name of the Noble Order of Knights of 

The first election of permanent officers was held in Janu- 
ary, 1870, and the following officers were elected: Venerable 
Sage, Past-Officer, James L. Wright; Master Workman, U. 
S. Stephens; Worthy Foreman, Robert W. Keen; Worthy 
Inspector, William Cook; Unknown Knight, Joseph S. 

The society was originally composed exclusively of gar- 
ment-cutters, and at the end of the first year of its existence 
it numbered only sixty-nine members. In 1871, however, it 
was decided to extend the operations of the Order to other 
trades, and the period of growth of the Knights commenced. 
During the next year no less than nineteen new unions, de- 
nominated " Local Assemblies," were organized under the 
auspices of the Knights of Labor in Philadelphia alone, and 
similar organizations soon followed in other cities and States. 

In 1873 the locals of Philadelphia formed the first "Dis- 
trict Assembly " of the Order. This plan of organization 
was adopted by other Local Assemblies, and in 1877 there 


were over fifteen District Assemblies in Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, South Carolina, Connecticut, Ohio, and other States. 
District Assembly No. i of Philadelphia was by tacit con- 
sent regarded as the head of the organization. 

Up to 1878 the Order was a strictly secret organization, 
and even its name was not divulged to the uninitiated. On 
all official communications and calls the organization was 
designated as "N. and H. O. of the ***** of North 
America," the five asterisks standing for "Knights of 

As the organization grew in membership and power, the 
veil of secrecy surrounding its existence gave rise to the most 
adventurous and absurd rumors. The inventive newspapers 
told gruesome stories of widespread communistic and incen- 
diary plots hidden behind the cabalistic sign of the asterisks. 
The "criminal combination" was fiercely denounced from 
the pulpit, and the unknown ever present and dangerous 
organization seriously disturbed the peace of the good citi- 
zens. Under these circumstances U. S. Stephens, the 
Grand Master Workman of the Order, issued a call for an 
emergency meeting " to consider the expediency of making 
the name of the Order public, for the purpose of defending 
it from the fierce assaults and defamation made upon it by 
press, clergy, and corporate capital." The meeting was held 
at Philadelphia in June, 1878, and the name, object, and 
declaration of principles of the Order were made public. 

During the same year the first national convention of the 
Knights of Labor was held in Reading, Pa., and a central 
executive body under the title "General Assembly" was 

Since that time the Order spread with unprecedented 
rapidity. At the third meeting of the General Assembly, 
held at Chicago in September, 1879, it was reported that 
over 700 Local Assemblies had been organized, of which 
number, however, only I02r eported. In 1883 the member- 
ship of the Knights of Labor numbered over 52,000; in 1884 


it rose to 71,000, and in 1885 to ni,ooo. In the year 1886 
the Order reached its high-water mark. The strike fever 
and labor troubles of that year caused a veritable rush of 
new members to the Order ; hundreds of new Assemblies 
were organized; thousands of new. members of all trades 
were admitted daily, and the total number of members of 
the Order during that year was variously estimated at from 
$00,000 to 800,000. 

The period of unnatural growth of the Order was soon 
succeeded by a period of reaction. The numerous defeats 
of the Knights in the strikes of 1886 created a spirit of dis- 
satisfaction, and when the American Federation of Labor 
was organized at about that time, members deserted the 
Order in large numbers to join the new organization. In 
1 89 1 the total membership of the Knights of Labor was said 
to be "less than 200,000, and it has been steadily decreasing, 
until to-day a very few thousand men scattered in different 
parts of the country are all that is left of the Order. 

U. S. Stephens, the founder of the Knights of Labor, was 
the Master Workman of the Order until 1879, when Terence 
V. Powderly was elected in his stead, and the latter remained 
in office continually until 1893, when he was in turn suc- 
ceeded by J. R. Sovereign. 

The first declaration of principles was adopted by the Or- 
der in 1878. It was in substance the platform prepared by 
George E. McNeil for the Rochester labor congress of 1874.* 

* A different and more romantic version of the origin of the document 
is given in the Sozialist, vol. iv, No. 10, by the author, writing under 
the nom deplume of " Loma." The writer, a socialist, and at one time 
a prominent "Knight," relates that on some occasion in 1881 he inter- 
rogated the old U. S. Stephens on the subject, and received the fol- 
lowing reply: "In the course of my travels through Europe some 
thirty years ago, I made the acquaintance of a certain London tailor 
by the name of Eccarius. Later on, when I organized the Clothing- 
Cutters' Union of Philadelphia, I received from time to time from the 
same tailor quantities of agitation pamphlets, among them this ' Mani- 
festo.' I had never read the pamphlet before, but I fovmd it con- 


The preamble to the declaration opens with the following 
statement : 

" The alarming development and aggressiveness of great 
capitalists and corporations, unless checked, will inevitably 
lead to the pauperization and hopeless degradation of the 
toiling masses. 

" It is imperative, if we desire to enjoy the full blessings 
of life, that a check be placed upon unjust accumulation and 
the power for evil of aggregated wealth." 

The Order further declares it as one of its aims: "To 
secure for the workers the full enjoyment of the wealth they 
create," and among others, makes the following demands 
upon the State : 

" IV. That the public lands, the heritage of the people, be 
reserved for actual settlers ; not another acre for railroads or 
speculators ; and that all lands now held for speculative pur- 
poses be taxed to their full value." 

"XVIII. That the Government shall obtain possession, 
by purchase, under the rights of eminent domain, of all tele- 
graphs, telephones, and railroads; and that hereafter no 
charter or license be issued to any corporation for construc- 
tion or operation of any means of transporting intelligence, 
passengers, or freight." 

One of the immediate tasks of the Order is stated to be 
the establishment of cooperative works, " such as will tend 
to supersede the wage system by the introduction of a co- 
operative industrial system." 

This declaration of principles has never been changed or 
modified in any substantial particular. The radical tone of 
the document, and especially the passages quoted above, have 
frequently given rise to the belief that the Order of Knights 

tained pretty much everything I had thought out myself, and I used 
it largely in the preparation of the Declaration of Principles of the 
Order." The Eccarius referred to by Stephens was the well-known 
Internationalist and coworker of Marx and Engels, and the pamphlet 
sent by him was the famous " Communist Manifesto." 


of Labor was a socialist organization. But as a matter of 
fact it was far from it. The founders of the Order were un- 
doubtedly men of radical views on social problems, as appears 
from the public utterances of U.S. Stephens and his early 
associates. The declaration of principles, apparently influ- 
enced by socialist thought, probably expressed their actual 
views, but in later years, and especially since the advent to. 
power of T. V. Powderly, it was a dead letter, and the efforts 
of the socialists to gain a foothold in the Order were produc- 
tive of very poor results. 

As early as 1881 several leading members of the Socialist 
Labor Party, and among them Philip Van Patten, the Na- 
tional Secretary of the party, joined the Order, and the offi- 
cial organ of the party repeatedly expressed its sympathy 
with the aims and objects of the Knights of Labor. But the 
relations of the two organizations remained purely platonic, 
and only when the Order was already on the decline, toward 
the beginning of the nineties, the socialists gained some 
actual influence in the organization. In the City of New York 
one Local Assembly, known as the " Excelsior Club," was 
composed almost exclusively of socialists, and many other 
locals were in sympathy with socialism. In 1893 the Social- 
ist Labor Party obtained control of the New York District 
Assembly, the erstwhile famous District Assembly 49 of the 
Knights of Labor, and succeeded in having some of its 
members elected delegates to the General Assembly. The 
socialist delegates were largely instrumental in the defeat of 
Powderly for re-election that year, and their influence in the 
Order was so great that J. R. Sovereign, the newly elected 
Master Workman, promised to appoint a member of the 
Socialist Labor Party to the editorship of the " Journal of the 
Knights of Laborj" the official organ of the Order. The 
promise was not kept, and gave rise to a heated controversy 
between Sovereign and Daniel De Leon, the leader of the- 
socialists in the Order, and the editor of The People, the 
official organ of the Socialist Labor Party. As a result of 


the controversy the annual convention of the Order, held at 
Washington, in December, 1895, refused to seat De Leon 
as a delegate from District Assembly 49. The greater por- 
tion of the District withdrew from the Order, and all con- 
nections between the Socialist Labor Party and the Knights 
of Labor were severed. 

3. The American Federation of Labor 

The ultimate aim of the Knights of Labor was to unite 
all working men of the United States into one body. The 
organization was not by trades, but by localities; it was 
strictly centralized, the General Assembly being the supreme 
authority for all organizations within the Order, and no na- 
tional trade-union being allowed in its midst. This form of 
organization, as well as the complicated ritual and ceremonies 
which still survived after the veil of secrecy had been re- 
moved from the Order, and the autocratic demeanor of its 
officers, largely impaired the usefulness of the organization 
for the purpose of practical .labor struggles. The feeling of 
discontent with the Order grew steadily, and in 1 881 repre- 
sentatives of several national labor organizations called a con- 
vention of " international and national unions, trade councils, 
and local unions " for the purpose of forming a confedera- 
tion of autonomous labor organizations for mutual support 
and for the furtherance of the general interests of labor. 

The convention met at Pittsburg on the 1 5th day of No- 
vember, 1 88 1, and an organization was formed under the 
name " Federation of Organized Trades and Labor-Unions 
of the United States and Canada." The Federation was not 
at that period regarded as a rival of the Knights of Labor, 
and no less than forty-eight out of the 107 delegates who 
assisted in the formation of the new body represented locals 
of the Knights of Labor. 

The second convention of the Federation was held at 
Cleveland in November, 1882, and was attended by only 


seventeen delegates. The Knights of Labor were not rep- 
resented, and the first note of hostiHty between the two 
bodies was sounded by the adoption of a resolution setting 
forth the objects of the Federation. The resolution con- 
tained the following passage aimed against the Knights of 
Labor : 

" The Federation seeks to attain the industrial unity of 
the working men not by prescribing a stereotyped, uniform 
plan of organization for all, regardless of their exgerience or 
necessities, nor by antagonizing or aiming to destroy exist- 
ing organizations, but by preserving all that is integral in 
them and widening their scope, so that each, without sub- 
merging its individuality, may act with the others in all that 
concerns them." 

The third convention was held at the City of New York 
in August, 1883. Twenty-two organizations were repre- 
sented by twenty-seven delegates, among them one woman, 
representing the National League of Working Women. Sig- 
nificant for the spirit prevailing in this convention was the 
passage of a resolution demanding of the Republican and 
Democratic parties that they make public declarations of 
their next national conventions, 9f''their attitude on the ques- 
tion of the enforcement of the^ eight- hour law, the incorpora- 
tion of national trade-unions, and the establishment of a 
national bureau of labor. 

The fourth annual convention of the Federation was held 
in Chicago in October, 1884, and was attended by twenty- 
five delegates. • Resolutions condemning child labor were 
adopted, and the Supreme Court of New York was censured 
for having declared unconstitutional the law against manu- 
facturing cigars in tenement-houses. But the most impor- 
tant and far-reaching act of the convention was the adoption 
of a resolution "that from May i, 1886, eight hours shall 
constitute a legal work-day, and that all labor organizations 
should prepare for it." 

The fifth convention met at Washington in December, 


1885, attended by only eighteen delegates. Further prepa- 
rations for the struggle for an eight-hour day were made, 
but in other respects the proceedings were of no significance. 
In the mean time the labor movement of the country had de- 
veloped enormously. The eight-hour agitation inaugurated 
by the Federation, and the industrial prosperity had encour- 
aged the working men to general demands for improved con- 
ditions of labor. -The ranks of existing trade-unions were 
rapidly swelled, and new organizations were formed. 

At the same time the rivalry between the Order of Knights 
of Labor and the Federation of Organized Trade and Labor 
Unions developed into open hostility. Some attempts at 
conciliation and unification of forces were made by the Fede- 
ration, but its advances were uniformly repelled by the 
Knights, who insisted on their narrow and oligarchic form 
of organization. The result was that a number of unaffili- 
ated trade-unions, mistrusting the efficiency of both bodies, 
called an independent convention of labor organizations, to 
be held on December 8, 1886, at Columbus, Ohio. The 
Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions showed its 
diplomatic acumen by calling its convention for December 
7th, at the same place. Here delegates from twenty-five 
national organizations, affiliated and unaffiliated, representing 
a membership of 316,469, met for a common purpose. 

The old Federation was dissolved, and the American Fed- 
eration of Labor was founded in its stead. 

The convention radically modified the declaration of princi- 
ples and the constitution of the old Federation, appointed 
an executive committee of five officers, provided for larger 
revenues, and elected^ Samuel Gompers its first president. 

After the reorganization the Federation progressed with 
large strides. Its annual convention of 1 887 was attended 
by fifty-eight delegates, representing a membership of 618,- 
000, according to official reports. 

The convention of 1888, held at St. Louis, fixed the ist 
day of May, 1900, as the date on which the general move- 


ment for an eight-hour work-day was to be reinaugurated. 
A similar resolution was adopted one year later by the first 
^ternational convention of socialists assembled at Paris, 
and the ist day of May has since become an international 
holiday of labor. 

The resolution of the Federation was partly carried out. 
In 1900 the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, 
who were selected to lead the movement, struck for an eight- 
hour day; the brotherhood was successful in 137 cities and 
benefited over 46,000 working men of the trade. The cigar- 
jnakers and German typesetters had gained a similar reduc- 
tion of hours of labor about two years earlier. 

At the tenth annual convention of the Federation, held 
at Detroit in December, 1890, 83 organizations were repre- 
sented by 103 delegates. The president reported having 
issued 282 charters during the preceding year, and the na- 
tional organizations had established over 900 branches during 
the same period; since the convention of 1889, 1,163 strikes 
had taken place, of which 989 were successful, 98 compro- 
mised, and only 76 lost. 

The Federation gained in popular favor and routed the 
Knights of Labor completely. Since 1887 the total number 
of its members had vacillated around the figure of 600,000, 
but since 1891 every year marked a new increase. 

The declaration of principles and objects of the American 
Federation of Labor is much more conservative in tone than 
that of the Knights of Labor, and still the former organiza- 
tion was certainly the more radical of the two. 
I The Order of the Knights of Labor was an aristocratic body 
removed from the uninitiated world by a cover of secrecy 
and a complex system of rituals and ceremonies. The Fed- 
eration, on the other hand, was at all times a democratic 
organization, freely and openly discussing all labor problems 
brought to its attention, in touch with the labor interests of 
the country, and ever engaged in open struggle with capital. 

It is largely for these reasons that the Federation became 


a favorite field of operation for the socialists from the very 
start. Out of the 107 delegates who assisted at the forma- 
tion of the body in 1881, six were outspoken socialists; and 
even Samuel Gompers, the president of the Federation, who 
in later days was its most decided opponent, was at that time 
very friendly to socialism. Some papers even went so far 
as to class him with the socialists. 

Every convention of the Federation had a larger or smaller 
representation of socialists, who endeavored to utilize the 
occasion for the propaganda of their theories. 

At the convention of 1885 the socialists for the first 
time introduced a resolution advocating independent political 
action of the working class. The resolution was defeated, 
but at its next annual convention the Federation by a large 
majority decided to urge upon its members "to give cordial 
support to the independent political movements of the work- 
ing class." 

At every one of the subsequent conventions of the Federa- 
tion the socialists managed to bring up their theories for 
general discussion in one form or another, and especially at 
the convention of i8go the subject received a most thorough 
treatment. In the summer preceding that convention the 
Central Labor Federation of New York had applied to the 
American Federation of Labor for a charter. The charter 
was refused on the ground that the list of organizations affili- 
ated with the body contained the name of the " American Sec- 
tion " of the Socialist Labor Party. This, Mr. Gompers de- 
clared, was in direct contravention of the provisions of Article 
IV., Section 5, of the constitution of the Federation, which 
prohibits affiliation with political parties. 

The Central Labor Federation appealed from this decision 
to the convention, and sent Lucien Sanial, the representa- 
tive of the "American Section," to argue the appeal. 

The debate was long and heated. The socialists contended 
that their organization was not a political party in the ordi- 
nary sense of the term ; that the Socialist Labor Party was 


an organization devoted to the interests of labor exclusively ; 
and that its participation in politics was merely an inci- 
dent in its struggle for the emancipation of the working 

Gompers and his followers, on the other hand, argued that 
a political party is a political party, no matter what its ulti- 
mate objects may be. The issue was by no means drawn 
squarely on the indorsement of socialism. Several delegates 
expressly declared that they were not hostile to socialism or 
to independent political action, but that they would vote 
against the seating of Sanial on the ground that they were 
apposed to the introduction of politics in the Federation. 
On the whole, however, the ultimate vote on the admission 
of the Central Labor Federation — 535 for to 1,699 * against — 
was probably a good test of the strength of socialism in the 
Federation at that time. 

The subject of Socialism was brought before the Federa- 
tion in a more direct manner at its Chicago convention of 
1893, when Thomas J. Morgan, a member of the Socialist 
Labor Party, introduced the following resolution : 

" Whereas, The trade-unionists of Great Britain have, by 
the light of experience and logic of progress, adopted the 
principle of independent labor politics as an auxiliary to their 
economic action ; and 

" Whereas, Such action has resulted in the most gratifying 
success; and 

" Whereas, Such independent labor politics are based upon 
the following program, to wit : 

"i. Compulsory education; 

" 2. Direct legislation ; 

" 3. A legal eight-hour work-day; 

" 4. Sanitary inspection of workshop, mine, and home ; 

" 5. Liability of employers for injury to health, body, or 

*The vote in the conventions of the Federation is by representation, 
each delegate having one vote for every one hundred constituents. 


"6. The abolition of the contract system in all public 

" 7. The abolition of the sweating system ; 

" 8. The municipal ownership of street-cars, and gas and 
electric plants for public distribution of light, heat, and 
power ; 

"g. The nationalization of telegraphs, telephones, rail- 
roads, and mines; 

" 10. The collective ownership by the people of all means 
of production and,distribution ; 

"11. The principle of referendum in all legislation; there- 

" Resolved, That this convention hereby indorses this po- 
litical action of our British comrades ; and 

"Resolved, That this program and basis of a political 
labor movement be and is hereby submitted for the con- 
sideration of the labor organizations of America, with the 
request that their delegates to the next annual convention 
of the American Federation of Labor be instructed on this 
most important subject." 

The resolution was discussed with much earnestness and 
skill on both sides, but the socialists had decidedly the better 
end of the debate : the general destitution of the working 
men brought on by the industrial crisis of that year had 
made the minds of the delegates more receptive to radical 
social views, and the fact that the resolution called for a 
referendum vote on its final adoption, placed its opponents 
in the unpleasant position of withholding an important ques- 
tion from the consideration of their constituents. The reso- 
lution was carried by a comfortable majority, and during the 
next year the members of the numerous labor organizations 
affiliated with the Federation were discussing and voting on 
it. The socialists have always claimed that the resolution 
in toto had been overwhelmingly indorsed on this popular 
vote; their opponents in the trade-union movement deny it. 
Neither contention could be substantiated by proof, for, at 


the next convention of the Federation in December, 1894, 
when the resolution came again before the delegates for a 
vote in accordance with their instructions, the managing 
powers of the convention succeeded in side-tracking the. 
issue by a clever trick. When the vote was to be taken on 
plank 10, which was the very substance of the resolution, 
calling as it did for the collective ownership of all means of 
production and distribution, a substitute was suddenly 
offered, calling for the grant of public lands to actual tillers 
of the soil only. The substitute was adopted after some de- 
bate, and the original motion was thus superseded by it. 

The issues of Socialism were introduced in the three suc- 
ceeding annual conventions of the American Federation of 
Labor in the shape of one resolution or another, and on the 
average such resolutions received about one-fourth of the 
delegates' votes. 

In 1898, finally, the Kansas City convention of the Fed- 
eration, after defeating a socialist resolution introduced by 
Max S. Hayes, of Cleveland, defined its attitude on the ques- 
tion in the following language : 

" We hold that the trade-unions of America, as comprised 
in the American Federation of Labor, do not now, and never 
have, declared against discussion of economic and political 
questions in the meetings of the respective unions. We are 
committed against the indorsement or introduction of parti- 
zan politics, religious differences, or race prejudices. We 
hold it to be the duty of trade-unionists to study and discuss 
all questions that have any bearing upon their industrial or 
political liberty." 

4: The Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance 

The battles for socialism in the conventions of the Fed- 
eration had since 1890 been waged by individual members of 
the Socialist Labor Party, without the sanction or approval 
of the official party administration. The recognized party 


leaders and the official party press had withdrawn their sup- 
port and sympathy from the Federation ever since the Sanial 
incident at the Detroit convention, and, while many promi- 
nent party members, such as Thomas J. Morgan of Chicago, 
Max S. Hayes of Cleveland, and J. Mahlon Barnes of Phila- 
delphia, continued their efforts to infuse the principles of 
socialism in the Federation, the party officials, headed by 
Daniel De Leon, inaugurated a campaign to capture the 
Knights of Labor with the results shown above. 

When the breach between the Socialist Labor Party and 
the Knights became final in November, 1895, the former, 
for the first time in the history of its career, found itself in 
open opposition to both existing national bodies of trade- 
union organizations. 

The experience of the editor of The People and his asso- 
ciates during their brief but tempestuous careers in the 
American Federation of Labor and in the Order of the 
Knights of Labor had utterly discouraged them. They 
renounced all hope of ever winning over the "corrupt" 
bodies to socialism, and the creation of a rival organization 
— The Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance — followed. 

When the leaders of the Socialist Labor Party first laid 
their plans to obtain control of the Order of the Knights of 
Labor, they induced a number of friendly trade-unions in 
the city of New York, consisting principally of German and 
Jewish working men, to join the Order. These unions re- 
mained loyal to the Socialist Labor Party, even after the 
final breach between the party and the Knights ; and when, 
in December, 1895, De Leon publicly repudiated the Order 
and called on them to withdraw from it, the great majority 
of unions followed the call. 

These seceders from the Knights of Labor formed the 
nucleus of the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance, and 
other labor-unions in sympathy with the socialist movement 
followed their lead. 

Within the first two or three years of its existence the 


Alliance issued over 200 charters to various labor organiza- 
tions, the most important among them being the Central 
Labor Federation of New York with twenty-seven unions, 
the United Hebrew Trades of New York with twenty-five 
unions, the Socialist Labor Federation of Brooklyn with 
twelve unions, the Socialist Labor Federation of Newark 
with seven unions, and a Chicago Central organization con- 
sisting of eight unions. 

The Alliance had besides a number of local organizations 

in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 

, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and other States, and in the 

period of its bloom its membership was said to exceed 


The Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance, altho an organi- 
zation of trade-unions, was to be a kind of a supplement of 
the Socialist Labor Party. 

In direct opposition to the views of the Federation and 
the Knights, it laid more stress on the political action of 
the working class than on their economic struggles ; it in- 
vited the various " sections " of the Socialist Party to send 
representatives to its local councils ; it requested the party 
as a whole to be represented in its conventions, and exacted 
a pledge from every local and national officer " that he would 
not affiliate with any capitalist party and not support any 
political action except that of the Socialist Labor Party." 

In form of organization the Socialist Trade and Labor 
Alliance was an almost exact copy of the Order of Knights 
of Labor. The separate organizations were denominated 
Local Alliances, the locals of a city formed a District Alli- 
ance, and the supreme power of the organization was vested 
in a general executive board. -*, 

The Alliance was a failure from the start. Its inconsis- 
tent and rather vague aims and its highly centralized and 
antiquated system of organization rendered it very inefficient 
for practical labor struggles, and the dictatorial policy of its 
leaders made the organization distasteful to many of the 


most important organizations affiliated with it. The first 
organizations to leave the Alliance were the Brewers' Unions 
of Brooklyn and Newark, of whom the general executive 
board had demanded that they sever their connections with 
their national organizations. Other unions soon followed 
the lead of the brewers. Out of the 228 organizations char- 
tered by the Alliance between December, 1 895, and July 4, 
1898, only 114 survived at the opening of its third annual 
convention, held at Buffalo in July, 1 898, and of these only 
54 were paying dues to the Alliance.* Shortly after the 
Buffalo convention the Central Federated Union of New 
York, by far the strongest organization of the Alliance, 
seceded, and the latter was left with a mere handful of men. 
The Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance still exists in 
name, but it plays no part in the trade-union movement of 
the country. 

* "The Attitude of the Socialists toward the Trade-Unions," by N. 
I. Stone, New York, 1900. 



Present-Day Socialism 


. Many events in the industrial and political life of the na- 
tion during the closing decade of the last century contributed" 
to the spread of the socialist sentiment in this country. The 
tendency toward concentration of industry had never before 
been so marked. " Not less than 1^500,000,000 is in the coal 
combination," reported Lloyd in 1894,* "that in oil has 
nearly, if not quite, ;g200,ooo,ooo, and the other combinations 
in which its members are leaders foot up hundreds of mil- 
lions more. Hundreds of millions of dollars are united in 
the railroads and elevators of the Northwest against the 
wheat-growers. In cattle and meat there are not less than 
JiS 100,000,000; in whisky ^^35,000,000, and in beer a great 
deal more than that ; in sugar, 1^75,000,000 ; in leather, over 
jjS 100,000,000; in gas, hundreds of millions .... There 
are in round numbers $10,000,000,000 claiming dividends 
and interest in the railroads of the United States. Every 
year they are more closely pooled." 

These immense combinations of capital had the effect 
of uniting vast armies of labor in each of the lines of indus- 
try mentioned. The gigantic trusts called forth formidable 
trade-unions. The class lines were drawn more distinctly, 
and the class struggles grew more embittered and assumed 
larger proportions. Hardly a year passed without witness- 
ing one or more powerful contests between capital and labor. 
The earlier part of the remarkable decade was particu- 
larly replete with such contests, and, without attempting to 
give anything like an adequate account of them, we will 
mention a few of the most noteworthy strikes of that period. 

* Henry D. Uoyd; "Wealth vs. Commonwealth." 
307 , 


The first of this series of strikes to attract universal at- 
tention was that which broke out in the iron- and steel-works 
of Carnegie^Co., at Homestead, Pa., in July, 1892. 

PtSS^fSad was a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, 
founded by Andrew Carnegie and his associates, and its 
population consisted chiefly of employees of the steel-works. 
These were organized under the Amalgamated Association 
of Iron and Steel Workers, and it had been their custom to 
fix their wages by periodical agreements with their employ- 
ers. The last of these agreements expired on June 30, 1892. 
When that date approached, the owners of the works 
announced a reduction of wages and demanded that the new 
scale be made to terminate in January instead of June. 
The employees rejected the proposed terms principally on 
the ground that they could not afford a cessation of work 
in midwinter, and would not be in a position to resist further 
reductions of wages, if such were to be made upon the ter- 
mination of the agreement. A lockout followed, and the 
battle was on. 

The employers were by no means unprepared for the 
struggle. Weeks in advance Mr. H. C. Frick, the active 
manager of the concern, had surrounded the works by a fence 
three miles long, fifteen feet in height and covered with 
barbed wire. The fortification was dubbed by the opera- 
tives " Fort Frick." 

The next step of the employers was to import a force of 
300 Pinkerton constables armed to the teeth, who arrived by 
water in the early morning hours of July 6th. The coming 
of these men precipitated a scene of excitement and blood- 
shed almost unprecedented in the annals of the labor strug- 
gles of this country. As soon as the boat carrying the 
Pinkertons was sighted by the pickets, the alarm was 
sounded. The strikers were aroused from their sleep, and 
within a few minutes the river front was covered with a 
crowd of coatless and hatless men armed with guns and 
rifles, and grimly determined to prevent the landing of the 


Pinkertons. The latter, however, did not seem to appreciate 
the gravity of the situation. They sought to intimidate the 
strikers by assuming a threatening attitude and aiming the 
muzzles of their shining revolvers at them. A moment of 
intense expectation followed, then a shot was suddenly fired 
from the boat, and one of the strikers fell to the ground 
mortally wounded. A howl of fury and a volley of bullets 
came back from the line of the strikers, and a wild fusillade 
was opened on both sides. In vain did the strike leaders 
attempt to pacify the men and to stop the carnage — the 
strikers were beyond control. The struggle lasted several 
hours, after which the Pinkertons retreated from the river 
bank and withdrew to the cabin of the boat. There they 
remained in the sweltering heat of the July sun without air 
or ventilation, under the continuing fire of the enraged men 
on the shore, until they finally surrendered. They were im- 
prisoned by the strikers in a rink, and in the evening they 
were sent out of town by rail. The number of the dead on 
both sides was twelve, and over twenty were seriously 
wounded. After this incident Homestead was placed under 
martial law, and state troops were stationed in the town for 
several weeks, displaying great severity. The contest ended 
with the defeat of the strikers. , h *'■ " 

The strike at Homestead was still in progress when a 
struggle of almost equal intensity broke out in the far North- 
west, in the Cceur d'Alene district in the State of Idaho. 
The rich silver- and lead-mines of the district had for a long 
time been operated by the miners themselves, individually or 
in small groups. But with the onward march of civilization 
the mines attracted the attention of enterprising capitalists. 
They were purchased and syndicated, and the former inde- 
pendent miners were reduced to wage-workers, whose wages 
were besides steadily on the decrease. The miners organ- 
ized, and their demand for higher wages having been refused, 
they struck. Their places were soon filled, and an armed 
battle ensued between the strikers and strike breakers, as a 


result of which several men were killed and wounded on 
both sides. The strikers remained in control of the situa- 
tion, driving those who had taken their places from the 
mines. They were 1,200 strong and well-armed, while the 
entire state militia consisted nominally of 196 men. In 
this emergency the governor appealed for federal troops, 
and the latter were promptly and liberally furnished. The 
strike was suppressed, the leaders arrested and thrown into 
prison, and suit was instituted to dissolve the miners' union 
as an unlawful combination. 

Within less than one month from the occurrences described 
two new labor struggles of large dimensions broke out simul- 
taneously in widely different parts of the country — Buffalo 
and Tennessee. 

The Buffalo Strike. — In 1892 the legislature of the 
State of New York enacted a law limiting the work time of 
railway employees to ten hours a day. The passage of this 
law had been warmly agitated as a measure of relief to the 
overworked employees as well as a measure of safety for the 
traveling public. But when it had finally been enacted, it 
was found to contain a " rider " in the shape of a provision 
permitting the companies to exact from /their employees 
overtime work for an extra compensation. This provision 
had the effect of nullifying the entire law. The companies 
reduced the wages of their employees more than sufficiently 
to allow for the extra compensation for overtime, and as a 
result the wages of the railroad workers had somewhat de- 
creased while their hours of labor had remained unchanged. 

The employees to suffer most from this state of affairs 
were the switchmen, who not infrequently were kept at work 
thirty-six hours in succession without as much as an inter- 
mission for meals. In Buffalo the number of switchmen em- 
ployed by the several roads amounted to over 400, and on 
the 13th day of August, 1892, these struck for shorter hours 
and better pay. Th-e attempts of the companies to fill the 
places of the strikers were unsuccessful, the strike gained 


in extension, and railroad traffic around Buffalo was blocked. 
The switchmen had the sympathy of the population, and 
the local militia, which was called into requisition at an early 
stage of the contest, did not seem inclined to interfere with 
their "picketing." The prospects looked bright for the 
strikers, when the railroad officials by threats and cajoling 
forced the somewhat reluctant sheriff to call on the governor 
for troops. Within forty-eight hours almost the entire 
militia of the State — about 8,000 in number, as against the 
400 strikers — appeared on the scene of the battle, and the 
situation was at once changed. Under the protection of 
the militia the companies procured men to take the places 
of the strikers ; picketing and other methods of warfare usu- 
ally employed by strikers were not tolerated, the backbone 
of the contest was broken, and the strike was declared off on 
the 24th day of August. 

A substantially different state of facts led to the labor 
struggles in the coal regions of Tennessee at about the 
same time. There the trouble arose over the employment 
of convict labor in the mines. Under the prison system of 
the State the authorities had for a number of years been in 
the habit of hiring out convicts, principally of the colored 
race, to the mine-owners on yearly contracts, and, as a rule, 
convict labor and free labor were employed in the same 
mines. This competition and humiliating associations were 
a standing source of grievances for the miners, and more 
than once the sturdy Tennesseeans had rebelled, and with 
armed hand driven the convicts out of the mines. 

The troubles of 1892 were a repetition of the same occur- 
rences, except that the operations were conducted on a 
larger scale. The first skirmish took place at Tracy City, 
where the free miners captured about 300 prison workers, 
set them at large and burned their barracks. Two days 
later the same procedure was reenacted at the iron-mines 
of Inman, on August 17th, in the coal-mines of Oliver 
Springs, and on the i8th in Coal Creek. 


Several troops of militia despatched by the governor of 
the State were captured on the way, disarmed and sent 
back ; telegraph wires were cut and railroad tracks demol- 
ished. The miners were in absolute control of the field, 
until finally the entire state militia was concentrated in 
the mine regions. Then the strikers were defeated and un- 
mercifully punished. Warrants were out for all leaders of 
the movement. No less than 500 arrests were made within 
a few days, churches and schoolhouses were converted into 
prisons, and indictments for murder, riot, conspiracy, etc., 
were found by the score. The rebellion was quelled, and 
quiet was restored in Tennessee. 

But the most far-reaching and sensational of the strikes 
of that period was the Pullman or Chicago strike of 1894. 

Pullman was founded in 1880 by the famous palace-car 
builder, George M. Pullman, in the vicinity of Chicago. It 
is a factory town provided with " model " tenement-houses, 
schoolhouses, churches, stores, and a library, all owned by 
the Pullman Palace Car Company and rented to the com- 
pany's employees. It was not a philanthropic experiment 
like the famous New Lanark of Owen, but a pure business 
enterprise, and a very remunerative one at that. The com- 
pany furnished not only the rooms, but the gas, the water, 
and all other necessaries and comforts of the tenants — at high 
prices. At the same time the wages of the operatives were 
very low, and the entire town was at all times deeply in the 
company's debt. In the spring of 1894 the employees owed 
the firm the sum of ;^8o,ooo for rent alone, and not infre- 
quently the former, after a deduction of rent from their pay- 
rolls, had nothing left for other living expenses. 

It was under these circumstances that the Pullman Palace 
Car Company announced another reduction of wages, amount- 
ing to no less than about twenty-five per cent, on the aver- 
age. The employees refused to consent to the reduction, 
and were locked out. Numerous efforts were made in behalf 
of the men to induce the Pullman Company to submit the 


controversy to arbitration, but all such overtures were met by 
the unbending and unvarying declaration of the company, 
" We have nothing to arbitrate." 

This situation had continued for many weeks, when the 
American Railway Union took the matter in hand. 

The American Railway Union was organized at Chicago 
in June, 1893, through the tireless efforts of Eugene V. Debs. 
It was a combination of different organizations of railway 
employees, and, in 1894, was said to number no less than 
150,000 members. The orgaiiization of the Pullman em- 
ployees was affiliated with the union, and when the annual 
convention of the latter met at Chicago, in June, 1894, it ap- 
pointed a committee again to request the Pullman Company 
to submit the grievances of their employees to arbitration. 
No heed was paid to the committee, and the convention, 
amid cheers of enthusiasm, decided to boycott the Pullman 
cars, and to refuse to do work on any trains to which such 
cars might be attached. 

The battle now grew general. On the part of the em- 
ployees the strike was conducted by Eugene V. Debs with 
great ability and courage, while the campaign of the railroad 
companies was directed by the General Managers' Associa- 
tion. The strike grew in dimensions and intensity from hour 
to hour. Within a few days all railway traffic in Chicago, 
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Omaha, San Francisco, and in many 
other important points of the Middle and Western States, 
was paralyzed. The transportation of meat and agricultural 
products was seriously impaired, and many industries all over 
the country were crippled. The American Railway Union 
seemed sure of victory when the United States courts 
Stepped in by issuing injunctions, forbidding the strikers 
to prosecute the boycott of the Pullman cars. The first 
injunctions were issued by Judges Wood and Grosscup at 
Chicago, and their example was followed by judges in other 

The situation grew still more acute when the President 


of the United States, over the protest of Governor AltgeW, 
sent federal troops into the State of Illinois, and when 
right thereafter he issued proclamations to the good citizens 
of the city of Chicago, the States of North Dakota, Mon- 
tana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, and California, 
and the Territories of New Mexico and Utah, to preserve 
the peace and to withdraw to their houses. The proclama- 
tions and the presence of federal troops and state militia 
placed a vast territory of the country practically under-maf- 
tial law. But notwithstanding these strenuous measures, 
or, perhaps, on account of them, serious disorders and acts 
of violence occurred in many places. 

In the mean while the United States district attorney at 
Chicago, under the directions of United States Attorney- 
General Olney, had impaneled an extraordinary grand jury, 
which found an indictment for conspiracy against Debs and 
other strike leaders. These were immediately arrested and 
released under heavy bail. Immediately upon their release 
they were rearrested on the charge of contempt of court. 
This time Debs and his comrades refused to furnish bail and 
were sent to the Cook County jail to await trial. The strike 
was broken. " It was not the railways, nor the armies that 
beat us, but thejpower of the United States courts," Debs 
subsequently testified before the United States Strike Com- 
mission, appointed to investigate the famous labor war. 

The number of persons killed during the strike was 12, 
515 persons were arrested by the state police, and 190 by 
the United States courts. Bradstreet's estimated the loss 
occasioned by the strike to the country at large to be about 
jg 80,000, 000. 

In September of the same year Debs was tried on the 
charge of contempt of court, found guilty and sentenced to 
six months' imprisonment in the Woodstock jail. 

The strikes thus briefly described by no means exhaust 
the list of violent struggles between Capital and labor which 
marked the closing years of the nineteenth century. Simi- 


lar strikes occurred from time to time in various parts of the 
country, and most of them presented substantially the same 
features. They were conducted on a large scale, and not 
infrequently shook the entire industrial foundation of the 
country. For the greater part they were as brief indura- 
tion as they were intense in character, and in a majority of 
cases they were quelled by the aid of the local police force, 
state militia, or federal troops. The injunction which had 
first shown its great effectiveness in the Chicago strike 
grew rapidly in favbr as a method of settling labor disputes, 
and became the regular concomitant of every important 
strike. The phrase of "government by injunction," which \ 
played so prominent a part in recent political history, owes ' 
its origin to this fact. 

With few exceptions the strikes resulted in the defeat of \/\y--_ 
the working men. 

These events created a certain dissatisfaction with the 
existing order of things in large sections of the working- 
class and made them more accessible to the teachings of 
socialism. Nor was the social discontent wholly limited to 
the city workers. The rural population of the country had 
its own grievances. The closing decades of the last century 
had wrought great changes in the economic situation of the 
farmer. The development of the great railroad lines and the 
marvelous improvements in the transportation facilities had 
created one national market for farm products in this coun- 
try, and the farmer was drawn into the mill of industrial 
competition as effectively as the manufacturer of the city. 
What made the competition still more disastrous for the or- 
dinary American farmer was the advent of the huge bonanza 
farms of the West. These farms, established on large tracts 
of land, frequently acquired by their owners from the Gov- 
ernment for a nominal consideration, were tilled and worked 
with perfected machinery on an immense scale, were well 
stocked, and could easily afford to undersell their smaller 
competitors. The prices of farm products fell steadily, while 


the implements of farming became more complicated and 

Thus the farmers found it harder and harder with every 
year to make both ends meet, and the money lender was 
called into requisition. The practise of mortgaging farms 
spread with alarming rapidity — in 1890 the total mortgage 
indebtedness of the farms in this country was no less than 
^1,085,995,960, and the indebtedness bore interest at a rate 
exceeding 7 per cent. In the same year only 47 per cent, of 
the farmers owned their farms unencumbered, according to 
compiled census returns. Of the remaining 53 percent., 34 
per cent, did not own the farms which they were working, 
and 19 per cent, owned them subject to mortgages. Rent 
and interest reduced the meager income of the farmer to a 
minimum, and the statement was made on good authority 
that the average net income of the American farmer was 
;^200 per year or less.* 

""Alongside of these industrial movements, and no doubt 
partly in consequence of them, a new and radical tendency 
was rapidly developing in the social and political life of the 
country. This tendency manifested itself in a variety of 
ways, but found its most pronounced expression in the 
Nationalist and Populist movements. 

The Nationalist movement was the immediate result of 
the appearance of Bellamy's famous Utopian novel, " Look- 
ing Backward." 

Edward Bellamy was born in 1850 at Chicopee Falls, in 
the State of Massachusetts, as the son of a clergyman. He 
studied law, but soon discarded that profession for the more 
congenial vocation of the journalist, and wrote several novels, 
which met with but moderate success. In 1887 he published 
his " Looking Backward." The original conception of the 
work, it is related, did not contemplate the treatment of 
present social or industrial problems. The author merely 
intended to write a playful fairy tale of universal harmony 
*"The American Fanner," by A. M. Simons, Chicago, igoj. 


and felicity. But as he progressed with his work his sub- 
ject assumed a more realistic tendency and direct application. 
The novelist gradually yielded to the reformer, and the work 
of fiction turned into a social and political treatise. 

Bellamy was not familiar with the modern socialist philos- 
ophy when he wrote his book. His views and theories vi^ere 
the result of his own observation and reasoning, and, like all 
other Utopians, he evolved a complete social scheme hing- 
ing mainly on one fixed idea. In the case of Bellamy, it is 
the idea " of an industrial army for maintaining the commu- 
nity, precisely as the duty of protectittg it is entrusted to a 
military army." " What inference could possibly be more 
obvious and more unquestioned," he asks, " than the advis- 
ability of trying to see if a plan which was found to work so 
well for purposes of destruction might not be profitably 
applied to the business of production, now in such shocking 
confusion ? " 

The historical development of society and the theory of 
the class struggle, which play so great a part in the phi- 
losophy of modern socialism, have no place in Bellamy's 
system. With him it is all a question of advisability and 
expediency ; he is not an exponent of the laws of social de- 
velopment, but a socal inventor. 

But this feature, which would have been a source of 
weakness in a work of science, by no means detracted from 
the success of the novel. " Looking Backward " was written 
in an easy and pleasing style ; it had the charm of originality, 
and touched a live cord in the heart of the nation. The 
book at once became the literary sensation of the day. 
Within a few years it reached a sale of over half a million 
copies in this country alone, and it was translated into almost 
all modern languages. 

A " Bellamy Club " was organized in Boston soon after the- 
appearance of the book, and in 1888 the club was renamed 
the " Nationalist Club." This was the beginning of the Na- 
tionalist movenient! Other clubs patterned after the Boston 


prototype were formed in all parts of the country, and in 
1 89 1 no less than 162 Nationalist clubs were reported to be 
in existence. The origin of the term "Nationalist" is 
accounted for by Bellamy in the following manner : 

"... This is called Nationalism because it proceeds by 
the nationalization of industries, including the minor applica- 
tion of the same principle, the municipalization and state 
control of localized business. Socialism implies the social- 
izing of industry. This may or may not be based upon the 
national organism, and may or may not imply economic 
equality. As compared with socialism, nationalism is a 
definition, not in the sense of opposition or exclusion, but of 
a precision rendered necessary by a cloud of vague and dis- 
puted implications historically attached to the former word." 

The Nationalist clubs were principally organizations of 
propaganda. In politics they displayed but little activity, 
occasionally nominating independent candidates, but more 
frequently cooperating with the Populists. 

The Populist movement originated in the State of Kansas, 
where a call for a convention of all the radical element with 
the view of forming a new political party was issued in April, 
1890. The convention met in June of the same year, and 
was attended by ninety delegates, representing the Farmers' 
Alliance, Knights of Labor, Single-Tax clubs, and other 
reform organizations. The " People's Party of Kansas " was 
organized, and in the ensuing state elections it succeeded in 
electing a majority of the lower house of the state legisla- 
ture. The movement spread rapidly to all Western, Mid- 
dle, and some Southern States. In 1891 a national conven- 
tion was held in Cincinnati. It was attended by no less than 
1,418 delegates, who were, however, chiefly recruited from 
the States of Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and 

The next convention of the party, held at Omaha, Neb., 
in 1892, was of a more representative national character. 
Delegates were present from all parts of the country. An 


independent presidential ticket was nominated and a party 
platform adopted. 

The People's Party was chiefly an organization of and 
for the small farmers, and thrived principally in the agricul- 
tural West and middle West. But while the leaders and 
promoters of the movement recognized this character of their 
party, and in all their platforms and public declarations laid 
particular stress on the interests of the farming population, 
they appreciated that the party could not expect to attain 
significance in national politics without the aid of the indus- 
trial workers of the East, and they endeavored at all times 
to gain the support of the latter. 

"Wealth belongs to him who creates it," declares the| 
Omaha platform, "and every dollar taken from industry 
without an equivalent is robbery. . . . The interests of 
rural and civic laborers are the same; their enemies are 

In the presidential elections of 1892 the People's Party 
united over 1,000,000 votes on its candidate for President, 
General Weaver, and in 1894 its vote rose to 1,564,318. But 
in 1896, when Bryan was nominated by the Democratic 
Party on a platform favoring the free coinage of silver, the 
Populists refrained from nominating a rival candidate and 
indorsed Mn Bryan's nomination. This was practically the 
death of the People's Party, and the further history of the 
movement is one of rapid disintegration. After the fusion 
of 1896 the greater part of the Populists practically remained 
an appendix to the Democratic Party, while the more radical 
elements, known as the Middle-of-the-Road Populists, seceded 
from the parent organization, forming a political party of 
their own. In the elections of 1900 their candidate for Presi- 
dent of the United States, Mr. Barker, polled a little over 
50,000 votes. 

In connection with the reform movements above described 
the schools of Christian Socialism and Fabian Socialism 
must also be mentioned. Both schools appeared in the 


United States at the period under consideration, and, while 
they did not influence the social and political views to the 
same extent as Nationalism or Populism, they still contrib- 
uted in some degree to the formation of modern socialism in 
this country. 

In the countries of Europe the school of Christian Social' 
ism was in existence for more than half a century, and as- 
sumed a variety of forms and attributes. In the United 
States the movement made its first definite appearance in 
1889, when the Society of Christian Socialists was organized 
in Boston ; it soon branched out to several other cities, prin- 
cipally in the East. 

The doctrines of Christian Socialism in the United States 
may be summed up in the following statement, taken from 
the declaration of principles of the society : 

"I. We hold that God is the source and guide of all hu- 
man -progress, and we believe that all social, political, and 
industrial relations should be based on the fatherhood of God 
and the brotherhood of man, in the spirit and according to 
the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

" II. We hold that the present industrial and commercial 
system is not thus based, but rests rather on economic indi- 
vidualism," etc. 

And the objects of the society were stated to be : 

"(i) To show that the aim of sociahsra is embraced in 
the aim of Christianity. 

" (2) To awaken members of Christian churches to the 
fact that the teachings of Jesus Christ lead directly to some 
specific form or forms of socialism; that, therefore, the 
Church has a definite duty upon this matter, and must, in 
simple obedience to Christ, apply itself to the realization of 
the social principles of Christianity." 

The society never gained much influence, and after a 
struggling existence of a few years it disbanded. 

The most prominent figures of the movement in this 
country were Rev. William D. P. Bliss, Prof. George D. 


Herron, and Prof. R. T. Ely. Mr. Bliss was one of tHe 
organizers and most active workers of the Society Of 
Christian Socialists. For several years he published Tlie 
Dawn, a monthly magazine, in which he advocated the usual 
political measures of the socialist program along with the 
general principles of Christian Socialism. Professor Herrori 
occupied the chair of Applied Christianity at Iowa College,'; 
and expounded his views in numerous books and pamphlets, ^ 
in public lectures and from the chair. He was outspoken 
in his denunciations of the existing order of things, but 
steadfastly refrained from offering a positive program of 
action. His socialism was rather of an ethical than political 
nature. In later years Professor Herron declared himself 
unreservedly for revolutionary socialism, and he is now an 
active member of the Socialist Party. __ 

In the summer of 1894 Professors Ely and Herron 6x- 
ganized at Chautauqua, N. Y., the American Institute qf 
Christian Sociology, which was designed to furnish literature 
and propaganda for the Christian Socialist movement among 
churches and colleges. Professor. Ely was president. Pro-; 
lessor Herron was principal of instruction, and Prof. J. 
R. Commons was secretary. The Institute had a consider- 
able influence and literature, but finally failed through the 
protests of the clergy and of various college instructors i 
against the radicalism of Professor Herron's teachings. The 
Christian Socialist League, of Chicago, organized by Edwin 
D. Wheelock, also exerted a measure of local influence. 
The resignation of Professor Herron from Iowa College 
practically closed the chapter of Christian Socialism in 

The Fabian movement in the United States can hardly b'e' 
considered more than an unsuccessful attempt to emulate 
the activity of the Fabian Society in England. The latter 
was organized in London in 1883 by a number of well-known 
socialists for the special purpose of promoting the educa- 
tional side of the socialist movement. Its members deliv- 


ered many lectures before clubs and societies, and published 
and circulated numerous tracts and pamphlets, among them 
the famous series of "Fabian Essays on Socialism," and 
brought about several important measures of municipal 
reform in London and in other cities of the United Kingdom. 

The American Fabian Society was organized in 1895. It 
had branches in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Fran- 
cisco, and in several other places. The society issued a few 
tracts, 'and for some time published a monthly under the 
title. The American Fabian. The leading spirits of the 
movement were Rev. W. D. P. Bliss and Lawrence Gron- 

All these, and other reform movements of that time, were 
but short-lived and fleeting, but they left their mark on the 
political life of the nation. 

Owing to the rise and agitation of these movements thou- 
sands of American citizens in all parts of the Union acquired 
a taste for the study of social problems. They discarded 
their traditional views and severed their old party affiliations, 
and when the reform movements collapsed one after the 
other, many of their former votaries turned to socialism. 


f The Socialist Labor Party was founded at a time when 
socialism in this country was an academic idea rather than 
a popular movement. The socialists were few in number, 
and consisted largely of men who had formed their social 
views and philosophy in European countries, principally in 
Germany. They were but little in touch with the American 
population, and moved almost exclusively within their own 
limited circle. This character of the movement reflected 
itself on their organization : the mode of administration and 
methods of procedure of the Socialist Labor Party were 


those of a society of students and scholars rather than of a 
political party of the masses. 

The organization was, however, quite sufficient for a pe- 
riod of about twenty years. The movement had during that 
time made but little -progress among the native population, 
the party grew but slowly, and whatever new members it 
acquired were gradually assimilated. 

But the events described in the preceding chapter worked 
a great change in the character of the socialist movement in 
America. The movement grew out of the narrow bounds 
within which it had been confined up to that time, and the 
Socialist Labor Party was fast becoming inadequate for the 
new requirements. Its highly centralized form of organi- 
zation did not suit the political institutions and traditions of 
this country, and its dogmatic adherence to all canons of 
scientific socialism and strict enforcement of party discipline 
were not calculated to attract the masses of newly converted 
socialists. A radical change had become necessary if the ' 
party desired to maintain its hegemony in the socialist move- 
ment. But, unfortunately for the Socialist Labor Party, its 
leaders did not appreciate the situation. The prolonged 
activity within the vicious circle of their own had made 
them men of an extremely narrow vision. They had become 
used to regard their party as the privilegeof the chosen few, 
and were rather reluctant to open it to the masses. They 
eyed all newcomers with ill-concealed suspicion, and refused 
to relax the rigidity of the party requirements in any 

Nor was their attitude toward the trade-union movement 
of the country any more conciliatory. When the Socialist 
Trade and Labor Alliance was first organized and sprung 
as a surprise on the convention of 1896, some delegates 
had considerable misgivings as to the innovation. Fear was 
expressed that the organization would only serve to an- 
tagonize existing trade-unions, while accomplishing little 
itself, and that it would ultimately lead to an estrangement 


between the party and the rest of the labor movement in 
the country. 

But these fears were allayed by the repeated assurances 
of the spokesmen of the Alliance, that the latter did not 
intend to interfere with existing organizations, and would 
confine its activity to the task of organizing the unor- 

As soon, however, as the convention adjourned, these 
promises were forgotten. The Socialist Trade and Labor 
Alliance accomplished hardly anything by way of organizing 
unorganized working men, and whatever little strength it 
ever attained was drawn from existing unions. The Alliance 
was besides not always very choice in its means and meth- 
ods of organization, and it has even been charged with organi- 
zing strike breakers during the progress of some strikes. 
This course naturally provoked the hostility of organized 
labor toward the Alliance, and the hostility was extended to 
the Socialist Labor Party, which was considered practically 
identical with it. Thus the administration of the Socialist 
Labor Party within a few years succeeded in placing the 
party in a position of antagonism to organized labor, as well 
as to all socialistic and semisocialistic elements outside of the 
party organization. 

This policy of the party officers was by no means always 
approved by the membership, and voices of protest were occa- 
sionally raised. But the opposition only ^served to accentuate 
the unbending attitude of the men at the head of the party. 
A relentless war was opened on everything within and with- 
out the party that did not strictly conform to their concep- 
tion of orthodox socialist principles and tactics. The col- 
umns of the official party paper. The People, edited by 
Daniel De Leon, and the Vorwaerts, edited by Hugo Vogt, 
were filled from week to week with violent tirades against 
the " corrupt pure and simple labor-unions " and their " igno- 
rant and dishonest leaders," and against the Populist, Na- 
tionalist, and other reform " fakirs." 

PRESENT-DAY socialism' i) 325 

Side by side with this crusade against the " fakirs ' out- 
side of the party a process of " purification " of the party 
members was inaugurated. Had the party officers heretofore 
been strict disciplinarians, they now became intolerant fanat- 
ics. Every criticism of their policy was resented by them 
as an act of treachery, every ^issension from their views was 
^_decried as an act of heresy, and the offenders" were dealt 
with unmercifully. Insubordinate members were expelled 
by scores, and recalcitrant " sections " were suspended with 
little ceremony. This " burlesque reign of terror," as Lucien 
Sanial subsequently characterized the regime, continued for 
several years, and in 1899 it reached such an acute stage 
that the members finally rose up in arms against it. 't) 

The first to sound the note of open rebellion was the New- 
Yorker Volkszeitung, which engaged in a controversy with 
the official party organs. The immediate occasion for the 
dispute was the Volkszeitung s adverse criticism of the 
party's attitude toward the trade-unions; but as the contro- 
versy continued, the whole range of the policy and methods 
of the party administration was drawn in. The discussion 
waxed more heated with every issue of the papers. The 
members took sides with one or the other of the combatants, 
and the socialists of the City of New York, where the head- 
quarters of the party were located and The People and 
Volkszeitung were published, were divided into two hostile 
camps— the "administration faction" and the "opposition 

Under these circumstances the month of July, 1899, ar- 
rived, and with it the time for the election of new delegates 
to the general committee of " Section New York." This 
election was of more than local importance for the opposing 
factions. The convention of 1896 had delegated to the City 
of New York the power to elect and to recall the national 
secretary and the members of the national executive commit- 
tee, and the latter in turn elected the editors of the party 
organs. Thus the New York socialists held the key to the 


entire situation, and the election was to demonstrate the 
relative strength of the factions. 

The contest was a spirited one all along the line, and its 
results were awaited with intense interest. The new gen- 
eral committee met on July 8th, and it became at once ap- 
parent that the opposition was in the majority. The com- 
mittee did not proceed far in its business. The nomination 
of a temporary chairman precipitated a violent clash between 
the hostile camps, and the meeting broke up in disorder. 

That very night the opposition delegates issued a call for 
a special meeting of the committee. The meeting was held 
on the loth da}' of July, attended by the opposition delegates 
only, and it proceeded with the party administration in a 
summary manner. The offices of the national secretary, of 
the members of the national executive committee, and of the 
editor of The People were declared vacant, and their succes- 
sors were then and there elected. Henry L. Slobodin, who 
had taken a very active part in the overthrow of the old 
administration, was elected national secretary, and guided 
the much troubled course of the party during the succeed- 
ing period with great skill and circumspection. 

The war within the Socialist Labor Party was now on in 
earnest. The deposed party officers repudiated the acts of 
the general committee as invalid and continued in office. 
The party officers elected by the general committee insisted 
on the legality of their election, arid proceeded to the dis- 
charge of their duties. Each side styled itself the Socialist 
Labor Party, each side had its own national committee, its 
own secretary and headquarters, and each of them published 
a paper called The People. 

The situation was somewhat analogous to the one created 
just ten years earlier by the deposition of Rosenberg and 
his associates, except that in the present case the battle was 
more perseverant and intense. 

In the beginning the administration party had decidedly 
the better end of the contest. The insurgents were practi- 


cally confined to the City of New York, while the sections in 
the country knew little about the merits of the controversy, 
and many of them adhered to the old party officers on gen- 
eral principles. The latter, however, did not possess the 
requisite skill to follow up their advantage. Their dictatorial 
tone toward their own followers, and their policy of abuse 
toward their opponents, repelled the sections wavering in 
their allegiance between the two committees, and one by 
one these sections turned to the opposition. 

This was the state of affairs when the general elections 
of 1899 approached. Each of the two factions had nomi- 
nated a ticket, and each side claimed its ticket to represent 
the only regular nominations of the Socialist Labor Party. 
In the State of New York the contest was taken into the 
courts, which decided in favor of the faction headed by the 
old party officers. 

This was a severe blow to the faction of the opposition. 
The faction had at that time undoubtedly the support of the 
large majority of the party members, some of the most promi- 
nent ones among them, and it had almost the entire party 
press on its side. The organization was building up steadily, 
and it soon regained in some quarters of the labor movement 
the sympathy which the party had forfeited through the per- 
verse trade-union policy of its former officers. But with 
all that its legal existence and identity had always been en- 
shrouded in much doubt, and now that the courts had de- 
cided adversely on its claims to the party name, the faction 
was thrown into a state of indescribable confusion. To put 
an end to the chaos, the national committee issued a call for 
a special convention of all sections supporting its administra- 
tion. The convention was held in the city of Rochester, and 
the character of the gathering and the efficiency of the work 
accomplished by it exceeded the most sanguine expectations 
of its promoters. The convention was attended by fifty-nine 
delegates, and remained in session five consecutive days. 
All questions of principle, organizations, and policy were 


subjected to a most searching scrutiny. The methods and 
tactics of the party were revised, and the party was reorgan- 
ized on a basis more nearly in accord with the modern re- 
quirements of the movement. 

Almost the first act of the Rochester convention was to 
repudiate the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance and to pro- 
claim its sympathy with the struggles of all trade-unions 
regardless of national affiliations. 

The convention also adopted a new platform, which, with 
very few changes, remains the present platform of the So- 
cialist Party, and enacted a new set of by-laws for the admin- 
istration of the affairs of the party. 

But by far the most momentous act of the Rochester con- 
vention was the adoption of the following resolution, paving 
the way for the unification of the party with the Social 
Democratic Party (see next chapter) : 

" The Socialist Labor Party of the United States, in na- 
tional convention assembled, sends fraternal greetings to 
the Social Democratic Party of the United States. 

" Whereas, The course of development of the socialist 
movement in the United States during the last few years 
has obliterated all difference of principle and views between 
the Socialist Labor Party and the Social Democratic Party, 
and both parties are now practically identical in their plat- 
form, tactics, and methods ; 

" Whereas, Harmonious and concerted action of all social- 
ist elements of the United States is expedient for a success- 
ful campaign against the combined forces of capitalism ; 

"Resolved, That it is the sense of this convention that 
the interests of socialism will be best subserved by a speedy 
union of the Socialist Labor Party and the Social Democratic 
Party into one strong, harmonious, and united socialist 

" Resolved, That we call upon the earnest and intelligent 
socialists of this country in the ranks of both parties to dis- 
card all petty ambitions and personal prejudices in the face 


of this great purpose, and to conduct the negotiations. for 
unity of both parties, not in the sense of two hostile 
camps, each negotiating for peace with a view of securing 
the greatest advantages to itself, but in the sense of 
equal parties, hitherto working separately for a common 
cause, and now sincerely seeking to provide a proper 
basis for honorable and lasting union for the benefit of that 
cause ; 

''Resolved, That for the purpose of effecting union be- 
tween the two parties on the basis outlined, this convention 
appoint a committee of nine to act as a permanent com- 
mittee on Socialist Union, until the question is definitely 
disposed of; 

" Resolved, That the said committee be authorized to dele- 
gate a representative or representatives to the next national 
convention of the Social Democratic Party in order to con- 
vey this resolution to said party and to invite the said party 
to appoint a similar committee ; and 

"■'Resolved, That any treaty of union evolved by the joint 
committee on union, including the question of party name, 
platform, and constitution, be submitted to a general vote of 
both parties." 

The resolution was adopted by a vote of fifty-five to one, 
and the committee of nine, provided for by it, was forthwith 

Before adjournment the convention took up the nomina- 
tion of candidates for the ensuing presidential campaign. 
Job Harriman, of California, a brilliant speaker and untiring 
worker, who had become widely known in party circles 
through his agitation on the Pacific coast, was nominated 
for the office of President of the United States, and Max 
Hayes, of Ohio, equally popular in the socialist and trade- 
union movement, was nominated for the office of Vice- 

But in view of the pending negotiations for unity with the 
Social Democratic Party, the nominations were not consid- 


ered final, and the committee on unity was authorized to 
make any changes in the ticket that might be required by 
the exigencies of the situation. 


The narrow policy of the Socialist Labor Party described 
in the preceding chapter had the double effect of disgusting 
many old-time workers in the movement who withdrew from 
the party in large numbers, and of making the organization 
unpopular to the majority of newly converted socialists. 

Thus around the middle of the nineties of the last century 
a new socialist movement gradually sprang up outside of the 
ranks of the Socialist Labor Party. It was scattered all over 
the country and assumed the most variegated forms. It 
was grouped around such enterprises as the weekly papers 
of J. A. Wayland, The Coming Nation, and subsequently The 
Appeal to Reason, both of which reached a circulation unpar- 
alleled by any socialist publication in this country ; it ex- 
pressed itself in the foundation of socialist colonies, such as 
the Ruskin Cooperative Colony of Tennessee, and in the 
formation of a number of independent socialist and semi- 
socialist clubs and societies. 

The movement, however, lacked clearness and cohesion, 
and stood sorely in need of an energetic and popular leader 
to collect the scattered elements and to weld them together 
into one organization. The man to accomplish that task 
finally appeared in the person of Eugene V. Debs. 

Debs had always been a man of radical views on social 
questions, and his experience in the great Chicago strike had 
only served to intensify this radicalism. He utilized his 
enforced leisure in the Woodstock jail for the study of social 
problems and the theories of modern socialism, with the 
result that he left the jail with decided leanings toward 

In the campaign of 1896 he still supported the candidacy 


of Mr. Bryan, but in January, 1897, he publicly^ announced 
his conversion to sociahsm. 

The American Railway Union had by this time practically 
ceased to exist, with the exception of a small group of men 
who remained true to Debs. This remainder of the once 
powerful organization was reorganized on political lines and 
decided to unite with the Brotherhood of the Cooperative 
Commonwealth, a socialist organization of a Utopian coloring, 
which had then recently been called into existence by The 
Coming Nation. 

A joint convention of the two organizations was held in 
the city of Chicago on June 18, 1897, with the result that 
a new party, the Social Democracy of America, was 

The aims and views of the party were originally somewhat 
raw and indefinite. Its declaration of principles was substan- 
tially socialistic, but its main feature of activity was the 
promotion of a rather adventurous plan of colonization. The 
new scheme launched by the party was to colonize in some 
Western State, to capture the state government, and intro- 
duce a socialist regime within the limits of the State. A 
colonization committee, consisting of Col. R. J. Hinton, of 
Washington, D. C, W. P. Borland, of Michigan, and C. F. 
Willard, of Massachusetts, was appointed. Funds for the 
purchase of territory were raised, and in May, 1898, the 
committee announced that it had completed arrangements 
by which the party would acquire about 560 acres of land in 
the Cripple Creek region in Colorado for the sum of $200,- 
000, of which a cash payment of only $S,ooo was required. 

The colonization schemes of the Social Democracy had 
opened the doors of the party to all varieties of social re- 
formers, and even a number of prominent anarchists joined 
the organization in the hope of exploiting it for the propa- 
ganda of their theories. 

But side by side with this movement the clear socialist 
element within the party grew in numbers and strength. 


Many former members and several entire sections of the 
Socialist Labor Party joined the new organization, and these, 
together with some prominent leaders within the Social 
Democracy, headed by Victor L. Berger, of Milwaukee, 
Wis., inaugurated a movement to substitute ordinary social- 
ist propaganda and politics for the colonization scheme of 
the party. 

Under these circumstances the first national convention 
of the Social Democracy was held in Chicago on June 7, 
1898. The convention was attended by seventy delegates, 
representing ninety-four branches of the party, and it became 
at once evident that a pitched battle was to be expected over 
the question of politics as against colonization. 

The debate was opened on the report of the platform com- 
mittee. Two reports were submitted, a majority report favor- 
ing the abandonment of the colonization scheme and the 
adoption of the usual methods of socialist propaganda, and a 
minority report advocating colonization as the most promi- 
nent feature of the activity of the party. The debate lasted 
until 2 :30 o'clock in the morning, when a vote was taken, 
showing fifty-three in favor of the minority report and 
thirty-seven for the majority report. As soon as the vote 
'was taken, the defeated minority withdrew from the conven- 
tion hall in a body, in accordance with a prearranged plan, 
and the field was left clear to the colonization faction. The 
latter adopted its platform, elected its officers, and adjourned. 
The organization subsequently established two insignificant 
communistic, colonies in the State of Washington, and quietly 
dropped out of existence. 

In the mean while the thirty-seven bolting delegates 
met and called into life a new party under the name of " So- 
cial Democratic Party of America." Freed from the 
presence of the troublesome colonization advocates, the new 
party proceeded to eliminate all Utopian elements from its 
platform. It organized on the lines of a socialist political 
party and elected a national executive board, consisting of 


Eugene V. Debs, Victor L. Berger, Jesse Cox, Seymour 
Stedman, and Frederic Heath. 

The following two years witnessed a rapid growth of the f 
young party. The party nominated state or local tickets in 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, 
Maryland, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California. In < 
the fall elections of 1899 it elected the first socialist repre- 
sentatives in the Massachusetts state legislature — James 
F. Carey and Lewis M. Scates, and in December of the 
same year the Social Democrats of Haverhill,' Mass., elected 
John C. Chase to the office of mayor of that city, while C. H. ~ 
Coulter was elected mayor of Brockton, Mass., also on a 
Social Democratic ticket. The party also succeeded in elect- 
ing to office a number of aldermen, councilmen, and school 
commissioners in several towns of Massachusetts and Wis- 
consin. When the iirst national convention of the party 
assembled in Indianapolis, on the 6th day of March, 1900, it 
claimed an enrolled membership of about S,0oo. 

The system of representation devised by the party was a 
rather novel one for political conventions. Each member 
had the right to append his signature to the credential of 
the delegate or proxy of his own" choice, and each delegate 
had as many votes in the convention as the number of signa- 
tures attached to his credential. 

The number of delegates who attended the convention 
was sixty-seven, and the total number of individual signatures 
attached to their credentials was 2,136. 

The all-absorbing topic at the convention was the question 
of amalgamation with the Rochester wing of the Socialist 
Labor Party. On the second day of the session a committee 
of the latter, consisting of Max Hayes, of Ohio, Job Harri- 
man, of California, and Morris Hinquit^ot, New York, for- 
mally opened the negotiations. Their earnest plea for the 
unification of the socialist forces and their glowing descrip- 
tion of the advantages which the movement as a whole would 
derive from the union were interrupted by round after round 


of applause. The great majority of the delegates had come 
to the convention with their minds firmly made up on the 
subject. They needed no arguments or persuasion; they 
were enthusiastically for union, and urged immediate meas- 
ures for the accomplishment of the object. 

The enthusiastic desire for union without reserve or quali- 
fication was, however, confined to the mass of the delegates 
only. The party leaders were more cautious in the matter. 
The name of Socialist Labor Party had an unpleasant ring for 
them ; they were somewhat apprehensive of the motives and 
sincerity of the new allies, and they proposed to surround the 
negotiations for unity with all possible safeguards. They 
consented to the appointment of a committee of nine to 
meet with the similar committee of the Socialist Labor Party 
and to evolve a plan of union as called for by the Rochester 
resolution ; but they recommended that the results of the 
deliberations of the joint committee be submitted to a refer- 
endum vote of each party separately, so that if either of the 
parties should not approve of the plan as a whole it might 
reject it and thus frustrate the prqposed union. They also 
insisted upon the retention of the name Social Democratic 
Party for the new organization. 

These recommendations were the subject of a prolonged 
and heated debate, at the conclusion of which they were 
rejected by a vote of 1,366 against 770. A committee 
of nine was thereupon elected with full power to arrange 
the terms of union with the like committee of the Roch- 
ester faction. To seal the treaty of peace, a presiden- 
tial ticket was nominated, with Eugene V. Debs, of the 
Social Democratic Party, for the office of President of the 
United States, and Job Harriman, of the Socialist Labor 
Party, for his running mate, with the understanding that 
the nominations would supersede those made at Roch- 

The joint conference committee of the two parties met on 
the 25th day of March, 1900, in the City of New York, and 


the practical work of merging the two organizations now 
began in earnest. 

The Social Democratic Party was represented by John C. 
Chase, James F. Carey, Margaret Haile, Frederic Heath, 
G. A. Hoehn, Seymour Stedman, William Butscher, and W. 
P. Lonergan. Victor L. Berger, who was also a member of 
the committee, did not attend. 

The Sociali st Labor Party^ faction was represented by 
Max Hayes, JoGHarriman, Morris Hillquit, F. J. Siever- 
man, J. Mahlon Barnes, G. B. BenEam, C. E. Fenner, W. E.^ 
White, and N. I. Stone. 

The conference lasted two full days, and the questions of 
party name, constitution, candidates, and platform were dis- 
cussed with much earnestness. The last two points were 
disposed of with practically no debate. The Indianapolis 
nominations were ratified, and the Rochester platform was 
readopted as. the declaration of principles of the new party, 
while the " demands " formulated by the Social Democratic 
Party were appended to the document. 

But the questions of party name and headquarters gave 
rise to prolonged and, at times, heated controversies. The 
representatives of the Social Democratic Party insisted upon 
the retention of their party name for sentimental reasons 
and on the ground of expediency, while the others urged the 
name of United Socialist Party as more expressive of the 
character of the new organization. A compromise was 
finally effected by the decision to submit both names to the 
vote of the combined membership of both parties. 

The party headquarters were located in Springfield, Mass., 
and a provisional national committee of ten was created to 
be selected from the membership of the two parties in equal 
numbers. The work of the committee was on the whole 
harmonious, and when the joint meeting adjourned, the 
union of the two parties was practically accomplished save 
for the formality of submitting the results of the delibera- 
tions to a general vote of the members for ratification. But 


the unexpected was to happen again. Hardly a week had 
passed since the members of the joint committee had closed 
their labors to the apparent satisfaction of all concerned, 
when the national executive board of the Social Democratic 
Party issued a manifesto, charging the Socialist Labor Party 
representatives with breach of faith, and calling upon the 
members of their party to repudiate the treaty of union. 

The document provoked a storm of protests within the 
ranks of both parties, and gave rise to a prolonged and 
acrimonious feud between the adherents of the national 
executive board and the supporters of union. When the 
vote on the manifesto was finally canvassed, the officers of 
the Social Democratic Party declared that union had been 
rejected by the members of their party by a vote of 1,213 
against 939, and that the party would hence continue its 
separate existence. 

But this declaration by no means disposed of the contro- 
versy. The adherents of union within the ranks of the So- 
cial Democratic Party, the majority of its committee on 
unity among them, denied the legality of the procedure 
adopted by the board, and refused to recognize its authority 
to represent the party any longer. They went on voting on 
the treaty recommended by the joint committee on union, 
and the treaty having been ratified by the Rochester faction 
of the Socialist Labor Party and the pro-union faction of the 
Social Democratic Party, they proceeded to carry its provi- 
sions into effect. 

Whether it was in the hope of disarming the anti-union 
elements or for any other reason, the name Social Demp:, 
cratic Party was adopted on the general vote, not only by 
the pro-union members of that party, but also by the over- 
whelming majority of the Socialist Labor Party members, 
and the new party consequently assumed that name. The 
climax of confusion in the socialist movement in this coun- 
try was thus reached. The Socialist Labor Party as well as 
the Social Democratic Party were torn in twain. The 


former maintained its headquarters in New York ; the latter 
had one in Chicago and one in Springfield, each of these 
parties and factions and a separate set of national officers, 
and each was making war on the other. And, as if to em- 
phasize the absurdity of the situation, the presidential elec- 
tions drew near with the various socialist nominations in a 
state of indescribable chaos. The administration faction of 
the Socialist Labor Party had nominated a ticket of its own 
— Joseph F. Malloney, of Massachusetts, for President, and 
Val. Remmel, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-President. 

The Rochester faction of the party had originally nomi- 
nated Harriman and Hayes for its candidates, but, as related 
above, these nominations were abandoned for those of Debs 
and Harriman. The latter ticket, however, was nominated 
on the assumption that complete union between the Roches- 
ter faction and the Social Democratic Party was an assured 
fact. But now, when the negotiations for union had failed, 
the anti-union or Chicago faction found itself with Job Har- 
riman, a member of a rival organization, on its own presi- 
dential ticket, while the pro-union or Springfield faction was 
in the same position with regard to its candidate for Presi- 
dent, Eugene V. Debs. The warring factions of the Social 
Democratic Party decided upon the only course possible 
under the circumstances — the retention of the joint ticket 
and the maintenance of a tacit truce during the campaign. 
Notwithstanding this inauspicious situation, both wings of 
the Social Democratic Party conducted an energetic and 
enthusiastic campaign, and the vote polled for their joint 
ticket at this their first national campaign was 97,730, more 
than the Socialist Labor Party had ever succeeded in uniting 
on its candidates in its palmiest days. 

The harmonious work of both factions of the Social Demo- 
cratic Party for a joint ticket during the brief campaign had 
accomplished more toward effecting real union between 
them than all the prolonged negotiations of the past. The 
members had learned to know each other more closely, and 


their vague feeling of mutual distrust was dispelled. After 
the campaign there was no more reason or excuse for con- 
tinuing the separate existence of the two factions, and the 
Chicago board issued a call for a joint convention of all 
socialist organizations for the purpose of creating one united 
party. The Springfield faction, several independent local 
and state organizations, and, in fact, all socialist organiza- 
tions, except the New York faction of the Socialist Labor 
Party, responded to the call. When the convention assem- 
bled in Indianapolis, on the 29th day of July, 1901, it was 
found that the Organizations participating in it represented 
an enrolled membership of no less than 10,000. The system 
of representation was the same that prevailed at the prece- 
ding Indianapolis convention. One hundred and twenty -four 
delegates held 6,683 credentials from individual members. 
Of these, the Springfield faction was represented by 68 
delegates, holding 4,798 credentials; the Chicago faction by 
48 delegates, with 1,396 credentials; while three independ- 
ent state organizations, with a total membership of 352, 
were represented by 8 delegates. 

Mindful of the disappointing results of the labors of the 
former joint committee on union, the convention decided 
not to take any chances again, but to complete all arrange- 
ments for the final amalgamation of the organizations repre- 
sented, then and there. 

With this end in view, a new platform (see Appendix I) 
and constitution were adopted. The headquarters were 
removed from the seats of former troubles to St. Louis, and 
Leon Greenbaum, who had not figured very prominently in 
the former controversies and was acceptable to all parties 
concerned, was elected national secretary. 

The convention was the largest and most representative 
national gathering of socialists ever held in this country. 
Among the delegates there were men who had been active 
in all phases of the socialist movement, and alongside of 
them men of prominence who had recently come into the 


movement. The socialist organizations of Porto Rico were 
represented by a delegate of their own, while the presence 
of three negroes, by no means the least intelligent and earnest 
of the delegates, attested the fact that socialism had com- 
menced to take root also among the colored race. 

The composition of the convention also served to demon- 
strate how much the character of the socialist movement 
had changed during the last few years : Out of the 124 dele- 
gates no more than twenty-five, or about twenty per cent., 
were foreign-born; all the others were native Americans, 
Socialism had ceased to be an exotic plant in this country. 

The convention had assembled as a gathering of several 
independent and somewhat antagonistic bodies; it adjourned 
as a solid and harmonious party. 

The name assumed by the party thus created was the 
Socialist Party. 


The socialist movement in the United States is to-day 
represented by two parties : the SociaHst Labor Party and 
the Socialist Party, which is also known politically as the 
Social Democratic Party in some States (notably New York 
and Wisconsin), owing to the peculiar requirements of the 
election laws of these States. 

The Socialist Labor Party never recovered from the effects 
of the split of 1899. Altho the " administration faction" 
had gained a legal victory over the "faction of the opposi- 
tion " in the litigation over the right to the use of the party 
name, its victory was of but little practical benefit. The 
great majority of organized and unorganized socialists had 
lost their confidence in the leadership of the party and turned 
their sympathies and support to the Socialist Party. And 
the further actions and policy of the Socialist Labor Party 
were by no means calculated to regain the lost confidence. 


Its hostile attitude toward the trade-unions and its fanatic 
I rigidity of discipHne, which had provoked the open schism 
j within its ranks, now became the sole excuse for its separate 
\ existence, and was intensified to ludicrousness. 

In June, 1900, the party held a national convention in the 
City of New York, which lasted a full week. The proceed- 
ings of the convention were characterized by almost childish 
abuse of the seceders from the party, and of all " pure and 
simple " trade-unions, and the climax of hatred toward the 
latter was expressed in the following resolution adopted by a 
practically unanimous vote : 

"If any member of the Socialist Labor Party accepts 
office in a pure and simple trade or labor organization, he 
shall be considered antagonistically inclined toward the So- 
cialist Labor Party and shall be expelled. If any officer of a 
pure and simple trade or labor organization applies for mem- 
bership in the Socialist Labor Party, he shall be rejected." 

In the presidential elections of 1900 the party's vote fell 
to 34,191 from 82,204 polled by it in the general elections 
^ of 1898. At the same time the process of "purification" 
^'went on within the party in an ever-accelerating rate; state 
organizations, "sections," and individual members alike were 
being expelled from the party for various acts of heresy, 
and as the influx of new members was but slow, the ranks 
of the party thinned steadily. 

Information concerning the present membership of the . 
Socialist Labor Party are very meager, but 3,000 is a gener- 
ous estimate. 

The party publishes a daily newspaper in the English 
language ( The People) in the City of New York, and several 
weekly papers in foreign languages. 

With no support from the labor movement and with a state 
\ of perpetual strife within its own ranks, the Socialist Labor 
; Party is distinctly on the wane, and its ultimate disappear- 
\ ance from the political surface seems to be only a question 
I of time. 


In the mean while the Socialist Party has been progress- 
ing with large and rapid strides ever since the Indianapolis 
convention of 1901. 

As this goes to press I am informed by Mr. William 
Mailly, national secretary of the party, that the latter has 
perfected state organizations in no less than thirty-four 
States, and that it has local organizations in all other States 
and Territories of the Union. The number of locals 
affiliated with the party is estimated to be about 1,200, and 
the total number of its enrolled members exceeds 20,000. 

But the enrolled membership and formal organization of 
the Socialist Party are hardly a fair measure of its actual 
strength. To form an adequate idea of this we must also 
consider its political standing, its influence on the labor move- 
ment of the country, and its press. 

As related in the preceding chapter, the party made its 
d^but in national politics with a vote of almost 100,000, cast 
for Debs and Harriman in 1900. This vote was materially 
increased in the spring and fall elections of the following 
year, but owing to the local character of these elections the 
vote was never fully reported or tabulated. 

> In the congressional elections of 1902, however, the vote 
of the Socialist Party, to the surprise of all, reached very 
closely on the quarter-million mark. 

The Socialist Labor Party vote in the same elections was 
a little over 50,000. 

A part of this unexpected success must, of course, be 
ascribed to the effects of the popular excitement produced 
in the summer and fall of that year by the prolonged and 
far-reaching strike of the Pennsylvania coal-miners. But it 
would be a mistake to consider the large socialist vote as 
purely accidental on account of that fact. The socialist 
gains were almost as much noticeable in places which, from 
their geographical location, were practically unaffected by 
the coal strike as they were within the immediate theater of 
the great labor contest. 


Moreover, when the local spring elections of 1903 arrived 
and the strike sentiment had completely subsided, it was 
found that the socialist vote had not abated, but, on the con- 
trary, had very substantially increased. 

Nor would it be safe to draw an analogy between the 
present socialist vote and the votes of the various fleeting 
reform parties of the past. 

The socialist vote differs from that of other political reform 
parties in several essential points. In the first place, it is 
not confined to any one particular section of the country. 
The main strength of the Populists, for instance, was in the 
West, that of the Greenbackers in the Middle West, while 
the United Labor Party drew its principal support from the 
East. The socialist vote, however, is pretty well distributed 
all over the country with an even and uniform preponder- 
ance in industrial districts, as should naturally be expected 
from the character of the movement. 

The reform party votes, as a rule, swelled on to immense 
numbers in an incredibly short time, and dwindled down to 
insignificance as rapidly ; but the socialist vote is of a com- 
paratively slow but normal and steady growth. And it is, 
jio doubt, this even distribution which accounts for the 
phenomenon that with 250,000 votes the Socialist Party has 
thus far not succeeded in electing its candidates to any im- 
portant national or state office. 

In 1848 the Free-Soil Party cast about 300,000 votes and 
elected a number of Congressmen, among them Charles 
Sumner, of Massachusetts, and Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, 
and in 1880 the Greenback Party with a similar vote sent 
eight representatives to the lower house of Congress. The 
Spcialist Party with a vote exceeding the total combined 
votes of the States of Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, 
Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming, has not a single rep- 
resentative in the house of Congress, and only eight mem- 
bers of state legislatures— three in Massachusetts and five 
in Montana. 


The party has, however, been more successful in local 
politics. During the last year it has elected its candidates 
for mayor in Brockton and Haverhill, two shoe manufactur- 
ing towns in the State of Massachusetts, and also in the 
towns of Sheboygan, Wis., and Anaconda, Mon. It has 
also elected about fifty of its candidates to the offices of al- 
dermen or councilmen in a number of towns in Massa- 
chusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kan- 
sas, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, and Colorado, and a score or 
two of other municipal officers in the same places, and it is 
quite likely that the first practical application of socialism in 
this country will be found in the field of municipal reform. 

Hardly less significant than its success at the polls are the 
gains made by the party in the trade-union movement. The 
growing sympathies of the trade-unions for the Socialist 
Party have in recent years been manifested in a variety of 
ways, but on no occasion were they so clearly demonstrated 
as in the last national conventions of the two largest bodies 
of organized labor in this country. 

In the month of June, 1902, the Western Labor-Union, 
a confederation of most trade-unions of the Rocky Moun- 
tain States and Territories, with a total miembership of about 
150,000, met in Denver in annual convention. At the same 
time and in the same city two of the strongest organizations 
affiliated with that body, the Western Federation of Miners 
and the United Association of Hotel and Restaurant Em- 
ployees, also held their annual conventions. The principal 
topic of discussion at all three conventions was the relation 
of the organizations represented by them to the Socialist 
Party, and the result of their deliberation was that all three 
declared themselves in favor of independent political action 
of the working class, indorsed the Socialist Party as the 
representative of the working class in the field of politics, 
and adopted the platform of the party. 

The Western Labor-Union at the same time rejected the 
overtures of the American Federation of Labor for the 


amalgamation of the two bodies on account of the conserva- 
tive views of the Federation and changed its own name to 
" American Labor-Union," thus indicating its intention to 
extend its operations beyond the limits of the West. The 
organization is almost as active in the socialist movement as 
it is in that of the trade-unions, and its official organ. The 
American Labor-Union Journal, is the advocate of both 
movements alike. 

In the month of November of the same year the annual 
convention of the American Federation of Labor was held 
at New Orleans. The socialist delegates introduced a reso- 
lution indorsing socialism, as they had been doing at all 
previous conventions of the Federation. The resolution this 
time read as follows : 

" Resolved, That this twenty-second annual convention of 
the American Federation of Labor advise the working people 
to organize their economic and political power to secure for 
labor the full equivalent of its toil and the overthrow of the 
wage system." 

The resolution provoked a lengthy and heated debate, and 
was finally rejected by a vote of 3,744 to 3,344. 

The resolution had not aimed at any practical measures, 
and whether it was accepted or rejected was of no practical 
importance to either side. But it was a test of the strength 
of the socialist sentiment in the ranks of the American Fed- 
eration of Labor, and the fact that almost a full half of all 
the votes of the convention was cast in favor of it was con- 
clusive proof of the rapid progress of socialism within the 

Another strong proof of the spread of the socialist senti- 
ment is the development of the party press. In bygone 
years the Socialist Labor Party found it hard, and at times 
even impossible, to maintain a single weekly paper in the 
English language. Now the Socialist Party is represented in 
the press by four monthly magazines: The International 
Socialist Review, Wilshire's Magazine, The Comrade, and 


T/ie Southern Socialist, and by twenty weeklies in the English 
language. The latter are distributed as follows: Cali- 
fornia, The California Socialist, The Los Angeles Socialist, 
and The Peoples Paper; Colorado, The Alliance of the 
Rockies; Illinois, The Chicago Socialist; Idaho, The 
Idaho Socialist; Indiana, The Toiler; Iowa, The Iowa So- 
cialist; Kansas, The Appeal to Reason; Kentucky, The 
Newport Socialist; Minnesota, The Referendum; Mis- 
souri, The Coming Nation -axi^ St. Louis Labor ; New York, 
The Worker ; Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Socialist ; Ohio, 
The Ohio Socialist; Pennsylvania, The Erie People ; 
Washington, The Socialist and The New Times ; and 
Wisconsin, The Social Democratic Herald. 

Of these. The Appeal to Reason alone is reputed to have a 
circulation exceeding 250,000. 

Of the German party papers three are dailies : The New- 
Yorker Volkszeitung, Philadelphia Tageblatt, and Cincinna- 
tier Arbeiter-Zeitung, and seven are weeklies. 

The party is also represented by one newspaper in each of 
the following languages : French {L' Union des Travailleurs, 
Charleroi, Pa.), Polish {Robotnik, Chicago), Bohemian 
{Spravedlnost, Chicago), Italian {Lo Scalpellino, Barre, 
Vt.), Swedish (Arbetam, New York), Hungarian {Nepszava, 
Cleveland, O.), and Jewish {Forward, New York). 

Plans for the establishment of daily papers in the English 
language in the most important cities of the United States 
are being seriously discussed in Socialist Party circles, and a 
beginning is soon to be made in New York, where the party 
is now engaged in raising funds for the purpose. 

Outside of the strict party publications enumerated above 
there is a large number of trade-union journals and radical 
papers and magazines of all kinds which are more or less 
outspoken in their sympathies for socialism, and in political 
campaigns support the candidates of the Socialist Party. 

The Socialist Campaign Book of 1900* enumerated over 
* Published by C. H. Kerr & Co., Chicago. 


thirty of such publications, and the number is no doubt much 
larger to-day. ■" 

Thus the socialist movement in the United States has 
grown immensely in extent and influence during the last few- 
years. It has penetrated into the broad masses of the 
American working men, it is gaining adherents amdng other 
classes of the population, and rapidly invading all parts of 
the country. And still the movement has apparently by 
far not yet reached the full measure of its development. 
New gains in members and supporters, new acquisitions in 
the press, and new victories at the polls are being reported 
steadily, and if all indications do not deceive, socialism will 
be a potent factor in this country within a very few years. 



The Socialist Party of America, in national convention 
assembled, reaffirms its adherence to the principles of inter- 
national socialism, and declares its aim to be the organiza- 
tion of the working class and those in sympathy with it into 
a political party, with the object of conquering the powers of 
government and using them for the purpose of transforming 
the present system of private ownership of the means of 
production and distribution into collective ownership by the 
entire people. 

Formerly the tools of production were simple and owned 
by the individual worker. To-day the machine, which is but 
an improved and more developed tool of production, is owned 
by the capitalists and not by the workers. This ownership 
erxables the capitalists to control the product and keep the 
workers dependent upon them. 

Private ownership of the means of production and dis- 
tribution is responsible for the ever-increasing uncertainty 
of livelihood and the poverty and misery of the working 
class, and it divides society into two hostile classes — the capi- 
talists and wage-workers. The once powerful middle class 
is rapidly disappearing in the mill of competition. The 
struggle is now between the capitalist class and the working 
class. The possession of the means of livelihood gives to 
the capitalists the control of the Government, the press, the 
pulpit, and the schools, and enables them to reduce the 
working men to a state of intellectual, physical, and social 
inferiority, political subservience, and virtual slavery. 

The economic interests of the capitalist class dominate our 



entire social system; the lives of the working class are 
recklessly sacrificed for profit, wars are fomented between 
nations, indiscriminate slaughter is encouraged, and the 
destruction of whole races is sanctioned in order that the 
capitalists may extend their commercial dominion abroad 
and enhance their supremacy at home. 

But the same economic causes which developed capitalism 
are leading to socialism, which will abolish both the capital- 
ist class and the class of wage workers. And the active 
force in bringing about this new and higher order of society 
is the working class. All other classes, despite their appar- 
ent or actual conflicts, are alike interested in the upholding 
of the system of private ownership of the instruments of 
wealth production. The Democratic, Republican, the bour- 
geois public ownership parties, and all other parties which 
do not stand for the complete overthrow of the capitalist 
system of production, are alike political representatives of 
the capitalist class. / 

The workers can most effectively act as a class in their 
struggle against the collective powers of capitalism by con- 
stituting themselves into a political party, distmct from and 
opposed to all parties formed by the propertied classes. 

Immediate Demands 

While we declare that the development of economic con- 
ditions tends to the overthrow of the capitalist system, we 
recognize that the time and manner of the transition to so- 
cialism also depend upon the stage of development reached 
by the proletariat. We therefore consider it of the utmost 
importance for the Socialist Party to support all active 
efforts of the working class to better its condition and to 
elect socialists to political offices, in order to facilitate the 
attainment of this end. 

As such means we advocate : 

I. The public ownership of all means of transportation 
and communication and all other public utilities, as well as 


of all industries, controlled by monopolies, trusts, and com- 
bines. No part of the revenue of such industries to be ap- 
plied to the reduction of taxes on property of the capitalist 
class, but to be applied wholly to the increase of wages and 
shortening of the hours of labor of the employees, to the 
improvement of the service and diminishing the rates to the 

2. The progressive reduction of the hours of labor and 
the increase of wages in order to decrease the share of the 
capitalist and increase the share of the worker in the product 
of labor. 

3. State or national insurance of working people in case 
of accidents, lack of employment, sickness, and want in old 
age ; the" funds for this purpose to be collected from the reve- 
nue of the capitalist class, and to be administered under the 
control of the working class. 

4. The inauguration of a system of public industries, pub- 
lic credit to be used for that purpose in order that the work- 
ers be secured the full product of their labor. 

5. The education of all state and municipal aid for 
books, clothing, and food. 

6. Equal civil and political rights for men and women. 

7. The initative and referendum, proportional representa- 
tion, and the right of recall of representatives by their con- 

But in advocating these measures as steps in the over- 
throw of capitalism and the establishment of the coopera- 
tive commonwealth, we warn the working class against the 
so-called public-ownership movements as an attempt of the 
capitalist class to secure governmental control of public utili- 
ties for the purpose of obtaining greater security in the 
exploitation of other industries and not for the amelioration 
of the conditions of the working class. 




The Socialist Labor Party of the United States, in con- 
vention assembled, reasserts the inalienable right of all men 
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

With the founders of the American republic we hold 
that the purpose of government is to secure every citizen in 
the enjoyment of this right; but in the light of our social 
conditions we hold, furthermore, that no such right can be 
exercised under a system of economic inequality, essentially 
destructive of life, of liberty, and of happiness. 

With the founders of this republic we hold that the true 
theory of politics is that the machinery of government must 
-be owned and controlled by the whole people ; but in the 
light of our industrial development we hold, furthermore, 
that the true theory of economics is that the machinery of 
production must likewise belong to the people in common. 

To the obvious fact that our despotic system of economics 
is the direct opposite of our democratic system of politics, 
can plainly be traced the existence of a privileged class, the 
corruption of government by that class, the alienation of 
public property, public franchises, and public functions to 
that class, and the abject dependence of the mightiest of na- 
tions upon that class. 

Again, through the perversion of democracy to the ends 
of plutocracy, labor is robbed of the wealth which it alone 
produces, is denied the means of self-employment, and, by 
compulsory idleness in wage slavery, is even deprived of the 
necessaries of life. 

Human power and natural forces are thus wasted that the 
plutocracy may rule. 

Ignorance and misery, with all their concomitant evils, are 
perpetuated, that the people may be kept in bondage. 


Science and invention are diverted from their humane pur- 
pose to the enslavement of women and children. 

Against such a system the Socialist Labor Party once 
more enters its protest. Once more it reiterates its funda- 
mental declaration that private property in the natural sources 
of production and in the instruments of labor is the obvious 
cause of all economic servitude and political dependence. 

The time is fast coming when, in the natural course of 
social evolution, this system, through the destructive action 
of its failures and crises on the one hand, and the construc- 
tive tendencies of its trusts and other capitalistic combina- 
tions on the other hand, shall have worked out its own 

^ We,, therefore, call upon the wage-workers of the United 
States, and upon all other honest citizens, to organize under 
the banner of the Socialist Labor Party into a class-conscious 
body, aware of its rights and determined to conquer them 
by taking possession of the public powers; so that, held 
together by an indomitable spirit of solidarity under the most 
trying conditions of the present class struggle, we may put 
a summary end to that barbarous struggle by the abolition 
of classes, the restoration of the land, and of all the means of 
production, transportation, and distribution to the people as 
a collective body, and the substitution of the cooperative 
commonwealth for the present state of planless production, 
industrial war, and social disorder ; a commonwealth in which 
every worker shall have the free exercise and full benefit of 
his faculties, multiplied by all the modem factors of civiliza- 



Alarm, The, Parsons's orgaa, 243, 244, 248 

Allen, John, 93, 109 

Allen, William, 105 

Alliance Internationale, 182 

Alliance of the Rockies, The, a socialistic weekly, 345 

Alphadelphia Phalanx, 117 

Altpeter, 261 

Amana Community, history of, 37-40 

American Fabian, The, 322 

American Federation of Labor, history of, 294-301, 344 

American Institute of Christian Sociology, organization of, 311 

American Labor-Union, 344 

American Railway Union, 313 

Anarchism and Socialism compared, 230-233 

Anarchism, definitions of, 217, 230-234 

Anarchism in tlie United States, 234-239 

Anarchist methods of propaganda, 233 

Anarchists, Chicago, 243-252 

Anarchist view of society, 231 

Ante-bellum period, 155, 159-172 

Appeal to Reason, The, edited by J. A. Wayland, 330, 345 

Arbeiterstimme, Die, 209, 210 

Arbeiter Union, Die, edited by A. Douai, 190, 191 

Arbeiter-Zeitung, Die, official organ of the International in the United 

States, 200, 204 
Arbetarn, a socialist weekly in the Swedish language, 345 
Artley, S., 261 
Aurora, history of, 40-42 
Aveling, Edward, 253 
Aveling, Eleanor Marx, 253 

Bachman, M., 235 

Bakounin, Michael, 181, 182, 183, 233, 234 
Barlow, Francis Charming, 107 


358 INDEX 

Barnes, J. M., 302, 335 

Bauemeler, Joseph, founder of Zoar, 35, 36, 144 

Beasly, Professor, 177 

Belding, Dr. Lemuel C, 114 

Bellamy, E., 316-318 

Benaham, G. B., 335 

Berger, V. L., 332, 333, 335 

Bethel, history of, 40-42 

Beust, Dr., 171 

Bimeler, Levy, grandson of Joseph Bauemeler, 37 

Bishop, O. A., 265 

Black, Captain, 251 

Bliss, W. D. P., 320, 321, 322 

Bloomfield Association, Fourierist Phalanx, 115 

Borland, W. P., 331 

Braun, Charles, 209 

Brisbane, Albert, 79, 87-90, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 108, 114 

Brook Farm, 91, 98, 104-110 

Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth, 331 

Buffalo Strike, 310, 311 , 

Bulletin of the Socialist Labor Party, 238 

Butler, B. F., 194, 267, 270 

Butscher, W., 335 


" Cabaliste," in the philosophy of Fourierism, 80 

Cabet, fitienne, 25, 121-125, 127, 128, 130, 131 

California Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Cameron, A. C, 193 

Carey, J. F., 333, 335 

Carl, C, 194, 204 

Carnegie, A., 308 

Central Federated Union, 286 

Central Labor Federation, 285, 286, 303 

Central Labor-Union of New York, 284-286 

Ceresco Phalanx, 98, 110-112 

Chambers, B. J., 267 

Channing, William Ellery, 104 

Channing, William Henry, 92, 93, 100, 104 

Chase, J. C, 333, 335 

Chase, Warren, no 

Cheltenham Community, history of, 131-133 

Chicago anarchists, 243-252 

Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung, Die, as socialist newspaper, 225-227 ; as 

INDEX 359 

anarchist organ, 243 ; under police censorship, 247 ; Spies in, 248 ; 

Schwab in, 249. 
Chicago Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 
Chicago Sozialist, Der, socialist daily newspaper in Chicago, 225 
Chicago Volksseitung, Die, socialist daily newspaper in Chicago, 225 
Christian Socialism, 320, 321 
Chronicle, The, Fourierist paper, 92 
Church of Reason (Haverstraw Comnnmity), 71 
Cincinnatier Arbeiter-Zeitung, Die, a socialist daily newspaper in the 

German language, 345 
Claflin, Tennessee, 197 
Clarkson Phalanx, 115 
Clermont Phalanx, 116 
Codman, Dr. John T., 107 
Coeur d'Alene strike, 309, 310 
Colden, C, 70 
Columbian Phalanx, 117 

Coming Nation, The, socialist weekly, 330, 331, 345 
Commons, J. R., 321 
Commonwealth Party, formation of, 282 
Communia, Weitling's Community, 166, 167, 168 
Communist Club, history of, 169, 170 
Communistic Experiments in the United States, 21-23 
Communistic Manifesto, 159 
Communist, The, 149 

" Complex Marriages," institution of Oneida Community, 45, 47 
Comrade, The, a socialist monthly magazine, 344 
Concentration of Industries in the United States, 307 
Convention of Greenback Party, 266 
Conventions of International, 180, 198, 199, 202, 205 
Conventions of National Labor-Union, 184-186, 188, 192-194, 209 
Conventions of Social Democratic Workingmen's Party, 207, 208 
Conventions of Socialist Labor Party, 210, 225, 228, 229, 240, 243, 253, 

256, 258, 259 
Conzett, C, 209, 210 
Cook, W., 289 
Cooper, P., 266 
Cory, S. F.,266 
Coulter, C. H., 333 
Cox, J., 333 

Coxsackie Community, Owenite Communltf , 7* 
Curtis, George William, 107 
Curtis, James Burrill, 107 

36o INDEX 

Daily Sentinel, Owenite organ, 59 

Dale, David, 53 

Dana, Charles A., 92, 93, 94, 99, 100, 108 

D'Arusmout, Phiquepal, 62 

Davis, John, 209 

Dawn, The, magazine of Christian Socialism, 321 

Debs, E. v., 313, 314, 333, 334, 337 

De Leon, Comit Maximilian, 33, 41 

De Leon, D., 283, 293, 294, 302, 324 

Delnicke Listy, a socialist weekly in the Bohemian language, 225 

Democrat, The, Fourierist paper, 92 

Dietzgen, J., 243 

Diversity of communists' life, 143 

Douai, Dr. Adolph, 191, 192, 210, 227, 268 

Doucet, Dr. J. H., 149 

Dwight, John S., 92, 100, 104, 105, io8 

Eben-Ezer, 38 
Economy, 32 

Education among communists, 145 
Ehrhardt, C, 261 
Eilenberg, E., 194 
Ely, R. T., 142, 169, 171, 321 

Emancipator, The, socialist weekly in Cincinnati, 225 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 92, 104 
Emrich, H., 240 
Engel, G., 247, 249, 251, 252 
Engels, Frederick, 159, 161, 178 

Equitable Banks of Labor Exchange, Owen's enterprise, 58, 59 
Erie People, The, a socialist weekly, 345 
"Evangel of a Poor Sinner," Weitling's work, 161 
Evans, Frederick W., 59, 60 
Evans, George Henry, 59, 60 

Evening Post, The, Henry George's organ in San Francisco, 272 
Evening Telegram, The, organ of Socialist Labor Party, 242 

Fabian Socialism, 321, 322 
Fackel, Die, anarchist organ, 243 
Failure of non-religious communities, reason for, 139, 140 

INDEX 361 

" False Industry," by Charles Fourier, 78 

Farmers, condition of, 315, 316 

Federation of Organized Trades- and Labor-Unions of the United 

States, 294-296 
Feiba Peven, Owenite Community, 65 
Fenner, C. E., 335 

Fielden, S., 244, 246, 247, 249,, 251, 252 
Fischer, A., 247, 249, 251, 252 
Flower, G., 70 

Forward, a socialist daily newspaper in the Jewish language, 345 
Fourier, Charles, 21, 77-87 
Fourieristic communities, characteristics of, 24, 25 ; history of, 

Free-Soil movement, 159, 165, 184 
Freiheit, Die, Most's organ, 236, 238, 244 
Frick, H. C, 308 
Fritsche, F. W., 229 
Frotageot, Marie D., 62 
Fuller, Margaret, 92, 104, 108 
Future, The, Fourierist paper, 93 


Gabriel, A., 209 

General German Labor Association, 192, 195 

General Working Men's League of Weitling, 149, i66-i68 

George, Henry, 272, 276, 279, 280 

George Campaign in New York, The, 275, 276 

Gerau, F., 282 

German emigrants in the early part of the nineteenth century, 159 

Germania, society of German political refugees in New York, 160 

Gleaner, The, Fourierist paper, 93 

Godwin, Parke, 90, 93, 94, 100, 108 

Gompers, S., 296, 298 

Grant, E. P., 116 

Gray, Judge J. E., 250 

Greeley, Horace, 88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 97, 99, 100, 103, 108, 113, 139 

Greenback Party, 189, 265-269 

Greenback Parly platform, 268, 269 

Greenbaum, L., 338 

Gronlund, L., 279, 322 

Grottkau, Paul, 235, 241 

Grottkau-Most Debate, The, 241-242 

" Groups and Series," in the system of Fourierism, 80, 81 

362 INDEX 

" Guaranties of Harmony and Freedom, The," Weitling's best-known 

work, i6i 
Gymnastic Unions, i68, 169 

Haile, M., 335 
Hall, E. J., 281 
Hannon, John, 72 
Harbinger, The, organ of Brook Farm and Fourierism, 43, 91, 92, 108, 

Harmony Society, history of, 32-34 
Harriman, J., 329, 333, 334, 335, 337 
Harrison, Carter H., 246 
Haskell, B. G., 254 
Hasselmann, William, 235 
Haverstraw Community, Owenite Community, 71 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 92, 104, 105 
Hayes, M. S., 301, 302, 329, 333, 335 
Heath, F., 333, 335 
Herron, G, D., 321 
Hewitt, A. S., 276 

Heynemann, Barbara, " instrument " of Amana, 38, 40 
Higginson, Thomas W., 92 
Hillquit, M., 333, 335 

Hinds, W. A., historian of communities, 22, 142 
Hinton, R. J., 279, 331 
Hoehn, G. A., 335 
Homestead strike, 308, 309 
Honesty of communists, 144 

Ibsen, C, 256 

Icarian communities, characteristics of, 25; history of, 121-138 
Icaria Speranza, 137 

Idaho Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 
Indianapolis Convention of Social Democratic Party, 333, 334 
Indianapolis Unity Convention, 338, 339 
Industrial crisis of 1873, 200 

Industrial development in the United States, 151, 152, 153 
Industry of communists, 142, 143 
Injunctions as means of settling strikes, 313, 315 
Integral Phalanx, 1 16 
International and Politics, The, 203 
International in the United States, The, 194-206 

INDEX 363 

International Socialist Review, The, a socialist monthly magazine, 

International Working Men's Association (American), 253-255 
International Working Men's Association (European), history of, 

175-183; platform, 178, 179; conventions, 180, 181; condition in 

1875, 205 ; formal dissolution, 206 
International Working People's Association (anarchistic), 237,240, 

Iowa Community, history of, 133-138 
Iowa Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Jacob! , Fritz, 171 

James, Henry, 92 

Jennings, R., 70 

Jessup, 188, 193 

Jeune Icarie, La, organ of Icarians, 149 

Jonas, Alexander, 224, 227, 240, 242, 281 


Kamp, A., 195 

Kearney, D., 262, 263 

Keen, R. W., 289 

Keil, Dr., Founder of Bethel and Aurora, 40, 41, 41 

Kendal Community, Owenite community, 72, 73 

Kennedy, J. S., 289 

Kent, Alexander, historian of communities, 23 

Knights of Labor, history of, 289-294; platform of, 291, 292 

Krahlinger, F., 195 

Kronberg, D., 208 

Kropotkin, Prince, 233 


Labor Enquirer, The, organ of American International Working 

Men's Association, 254, 255 
Labor Exchange Banks (Weitling's), 164, 165 
Labor Party of Illinois, 202 
Labor Standard, The, 210, 225 
Lafayette, General, 70 
Leader, The, organ of the Henry Geoi^e campaign, 176; supported 

by United German Trades, 286 
Lee, Ann, founder of Shaker communities, 29, 139 
Lehr, George, 240 
Leraysville Phalanx, 113, lu 

364 INDEX 

Lesneur, Charles Alexander, 62 

Liberal Party, formation of, 265 

Liebknecht, Wilhelm, 253 

Lingg, L., 247, 249, 251, 252 

" Little Hordes," in the philosophy of Fourierism, 83, 84 

" Locofoco " movement. The, 60 . 

Lonergan, W. P., 335 

Longevity of communists, 144 

Longley, Alcander, 149 

" Looking Backward," 316, 317 

Lorenz, 261 

Los Angeles Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Lowell, James R., 92 

McDonald, A. J., first historian of American commxmities, 66, 117, 

McDonnell, J. P., 208, 210 
McGlynn, Father, 279 
McGregor, H., 208 

McGuire, P. J., 208, 209, 224, 228, 265, 268 
McMackin, 279 
McNeil, G. E., 291 

MacdanieI7 Osborne, 91 > ' 

Maclure, William, 61, 70 
Macluria, Owenite community, 65 
Maguire, M., 283, 285 
Mailly, W., 341 
Malloney, J. F., 337 
Marchand, 137, 144 

Marx, Karl, 9, 36, 159, 161, 178, 181, 182 
Matchett, C. H., 283 
Mazzini, 178 

Meacham, Joseph, Shaker elder, 29 
Meier, C, 261 
Meilbeck, L., 261 

Metz, Christian, founder of Amana, 38 

Modem Socialism ; its development in the United States, 149-154 
Molkenbuhr, H., 240 
Morgan, T. J., 268, 269, 299, 302 
Most, John, 233, 235-237, 241 
Most-Grottkau Debate, 241, 242 
"Mutual criticism," a Perfectionist institution, 44, 46, 47 

INDEX 36s 


Nashoba Community, history of, 69, 70 

Nationalist movement, history of the, 317, 318 

National Labor-Union, 183-194, 209 

National Labor-Union conventions, 184-186, 188, 192-194, 209 

National Socialist, The, organ of Socialist Labor Party, 227 

National Reform Party, political career and history of the, 189, 193 

Nauvoo Community, history of, 129-131 

Neebe, O. W., 247, 249, 250, 251, 252 

Neef, Professor, 62 

Nepszava, a socialist weekly in the Hungarian language, 345 

Neue Zeit, Die, socialist daily newspaper in Louisville, 225 

New Harmony Gazette, organ of New Harmony Community, 66, 70 

New Harmony, history of, 61-66 

" New Industrial World," by Charles Fourier, 78 

New Lanark, Owen's model manufacturing village in Scotland, 53-55 

Newport Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

New Times, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

New-Yorker Volkszeitung, 191, 227-228, 256, 269, 282, 325 

Nordhoff, Charles, observations of, 22, 139, 142, 143, 144 

North American Phalanx, 98, 100-103 

Noyes, J. H., historian and founder of Oneida Community, 22, 42, 

43. 45. 139. 144 
Nye Tid, Den, socialist weekly in the Swedish language, 225 


Ohio Phalanx, 1 16 

Ohio Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Oklahoma Socialist, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Oneida Circular, The, organ of the Oneida Community, 45, 46 

Oneida Community, 42-48, 143, 144 

Ontario Union, Fourierist Phalanx, 115 

Orvis, John, 93, 108, 109 

Otto-Walster, A., 205 

"Our Land and Labor Policy," Henry George's first economic work, 

Owenite communities, characteristics of. 24 ; history of, 61-73 
Owen, Robert, 21, 33, 51-59, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 70, 122, 124, 139 
Owen, Robert Dale, son of Robert Owen, 59, 60, 70 
Owen, William, son of Robert Owen, 66 

366 INDEX 

" Papillione," in the philosophy of Fourierisra, So 

Parker, Theodore, 92, 108 

Parsons, Mrs. L., 268 

Parsons, R. A., 208, 224, 235, 237, 243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 265, 268 

" Passions," in the philosophy of Fourierism, 79 

Peabody, Elizabeth P., 104, 108 

Peace Union Settlement, Fourierist Phalanx, 113 

Perfectionism, 43, 44, 45 

People's Party, formation of, 318, 319 

People, The, organ of the Socialist Labor Party, 293, 324, 325, 326, 340 

Petersen, C. A., 195 

Phalanx, The, organ of Fourierism, 91, 92, 95 

" Phalanx," in the system of Fourierism, 24, 81-85 

Phalanxes in the United States, general characteristics of, 95-98 

Philadelphia Tageblatt, Das, socialist daily, 225, 227, 243, 345 

Phillips, Wendell, 94, 194 

Pink, C, 262, 265 

Pittsburg Proclamation, 237, 238 

Pittsburg strike, 221 

Platform of Greenback Party, 268, 269 

Platform of the International, 178, 179 

Platform of the Knights of Labor, 291, 292 

Platform of the Social Democratic Working Men's Party, 207 

Platform of Socialist Party, 349-351 

Platform of the Socialist Labor Party, 352, 353 

Platform of United Labor Party of New York, 277, 278 

Politics, socialist, 154, 203, 216, 259 284 

Populist movement, development of, 318, 319 

Powderly, T. V., 291, 293 

Praast, R., 256 

Present-Day Socialism, 155, 307-348 

Present, The, Fourierist paper, 93 

" Progress and Poverty," by Henry George, 272-275 

Progressive Labor Party, formation of, 280 

Proudhon, P. J,, 233 

Pullman, G. M., 312 

Pullman Strike, The, 312-314 

Railroads, development of , in the United States, ize 
Railroad strike of 1877, 220-222 

INDEX 367 

Rapp, Geoi^e, founder of Harmony, 32, 144 

Raymond, Henry J., 90 

Referendum, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Reichert, Frederick, 32 

Reimer, O., 242, 256 

Republik der Arbeiter, Weitling's oigan, 163, 164 

Religious communities, 24 

Remmel, V., 337 

Revolution, The, Weydemeyer's magazine, 167 

" Revolutionary Science of War," by J. Most, 244 

Revue Icarienne, La, Icarian magazine, 149 

Richardson, J., 70 

Ripley, George, 91, 94, 99, 100, 102, 104, 105, 108 

Ripley, Sophia, 104 

Robotnik, a socialist weekly in the Polish language, 345 

Rochester convention of Socialist Labor Party, 327-329 

Roe, Daniel, 67 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 276 

Rosa, Robert, 171 

Rosenberg, W. L., 256 

St. Louis Labor, a socialist weekly, 345 

Saint Simon, Charles, French Utopian, 21 

San Franciico Truth, The, organ of Socialist Labor Party, 242 

Sanial, L., 257, 298, 325 

Sargant, W. L., 64 

Sauva, A., 133, 208 

Savary, 224 

Say, Thomas, 62 

Scalpellino, Lo, a socialist weekly in the Italian language, 345 

Scates, L. M., 333 

Schetterly, Dr., 117 

Schewitsch, S. E., 227, 256, 279 

Schilling, G. A., 208, 224 

Schlegel, Edward, 184 

Schlueter, H., 227 

Schmidt, Dr. E., 261, 26a 

Schnaubelt, R., 247, 248 

Schwab, Justus, 235 

Schwab, M., 244, 247, 248, 249, 251, »s* 

Scientific Socialism, 9, 10 

Sectarian communities, history of, 23-50 

368 INDEX 

Seliger, W., 247, 248, 250 

Separatists, religious sect, 32, 34 

Seubert, F., 242 

Shakers, customs and communities, 29-31 

Shaw, A., historian of Icaria, 23, 126 

Shaw, Francis G., 92 

Sieverman, F. J., 335 

Single- tax theory, 273, 274, 276, 277 

Single tax and socialism compared, 276, 277 

Slobodin, H. L., 326 

Slow growth of socialism in the United States, reasons for, 153, 154 

Smolnikar, A. B., 113 

Social Democracy of America, formation of, 331, 332 

Social Democrat, The, socialist weekly in Milwaukee, 225 

Social Democratic Herald, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Social Democratic Parly of America, formation of, 332 

Social Democratic Working Men's Party, 203, 207, 208 

" Social Destiny of Man," by A. Brisbane, 88 

Social movement, revival of, in Europe, 176, 177 

Social Party of New York and vicinity, 195 

Social Reform Unity, Fourierist Phalanx, 113 

Social Republic, The, organ of the General Working Men's League, 

Socialism and Anarchism compared, 230-233 
Socialism and single tax compared, 276, 277 
Socialism, Christian, 320, 321 
Socialism, Fabian, 321, 322 
Socialism, origin of, 8 
Socialism, Scientific, 9, 10 
Socialism, Utopian, 8, 9 
Socialist Labor Party, course of progress, 213-219; history of, 219- 

304, 322-330; conventions, 210, 225, 228, 229, 240, 243, 253, 256, 

258, 259, 340; platform, 352, 353; early career, 224, 225; politics, 

259-284 ; present condition, 339, 340 
Socialist methods of propaganda, 232 
Socialist Party, history of, 339, 341-346; platform, 349-351; present 

condition, 341-345 
Socialist politics, 154, 203, 216, 259-284 
Socialist press, 344, 345 

Socialist, The, a socialist weekly in Washington, 345 
Socialist, The, organ of the Social Democratic Workingmen's Party, 

208, 210 
Socialist, The, weekly socialist newspaper in Detroit, 225 

INDEX 369 

Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance, 301-304,323, 324 

Socialist view of society, 230 

Socialist vote analyzed, 342, 343 

Socialistic Gymnastic Union, 169 

Socialists in the civil war, 170-172 

Sodus Bay Phalanx, 115 

Sorge, F. A., 169, 195, 197, 199, 204, 205, 208, 209 

Southern Socialist, The, a socialist monthly magazine, 345 

Sovereign, J. R., 291, 293 

Sozial Demokrat, Der, oi^an of the Social-Democratic Working 

Men's Party, 210 
Sozialist, Der, official German organ of the Socialist Labor Party, 

243, 256 
Speyer, C., 205 
Speyer, J. G., 208 

Spies, August, 235, 237,'240, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 251, 252 
Spravedlnost, a socialist weekly in the Bohemian language, 345 
Standard, The, Henry George's organ, 278 
Star, The, socialist daily newspaper in St. Louis, 225 
Stedman, S., 333, 335 
Stephens, U. S., 289, 290, 291, 293 
Stone, N. L, 335 
Strasser, A., 207, 209, 228 
Straubert, F., 261 
Struggles with anarchism, 230-243 
Struve, G., 167 

Success of religious communities, reason for, 139, 140 
Swinton, J., 224, 281 

Sylvania Association, Fourierist Phalanx, 112, 113 
Sylvis, William H., 186-190, 192, 193 


Tennessee strike, 311, 312 

Texas Community, history of, 125-129 

" Theory of Four Movements," first work of Ch. Fourier, 78 

Thoreau, Henry D., 104 

Tillbach, Alois, 171 

Times, The, socialist weekly in Indianapolis, 225 

Tocsin, The, Fourierist paper, 117 

Toiler, The, a socialist weekly, 345 

Tolain, H. L., 177 

Tompkins Square massacre, 201 

3;o INDEX 

Transcendentalism, 104, 105 

" Treatise on Domestic Association," by Ch. Fourier, 78 
Tribune, The, 89, 90, 99 
Troost, Dr. Gerard, 62 
Trumbull Phalanx, 115, 116 

Truth, The, organ of American International Working Men's Asso- 
ciation, 254 


Union des Travailleurs, a socialist weekly in the French language, 


Union Labor Party of Wisconsin, 27 1 

United German Trades, 287 

United Gymnastic Unions of North America, 169 

United Hebrew Trades, 287, 288, 303 

United Labor Party of Chicago, 27 1 

United Labor Party of New York, 272, 277-280 

Utopian Socialism, 8, 9, 21; influence on growth of modem social- 
ism, 149 

Van Amringe, u6 

Van Patten, Philip, 224, 225, 227, 234, 239, 264, 268, 285, 293 
Viereck, L., 229 

Voice of the People, The, organ of Socialist Labor Party, 242 
Vogt, Hugo, 239, 279, 324 
Volksstimme des Westens, Die, socialist daily newspaper in St. Louis, 

Vorbote, Der, socialist oi^an, 210, 227 ; anarchist organ, 243 
Vorwaerts, organ of the Socialist Labor Party, 324 
Vorwaerts, socialist daily in Newark, N. J., 225 
Vorwaerts, socialist weekly in Milwaukee, 225 
" Voy^e en Icarie," Cabet's Utopian novel, 123 
Vrooman, W., 279 


Waltershausen, S. v., 169 
Walther, Otto, 224, 242 
Ward, O., 262, 265 
Wayland, J. A., 330 
Weaver, J. B., 267, 319 
Wells, George Duncan, 107 
Weitling, Wilhelm, 159-167 

INDEX 371 

Weitling's communism, i6i, 162 

Western Labor-Union, 343 

Weydemeyer, Joseph, 167, 171 

Weydenieyer, Otto, 209 

Wheelock, E. D., 321 

Whitaker, James, Shaker elder, 19 

Whitby, R., 70 

White, W. E., 335 

Whitley, T. W., 93, 113 

WiUard, C. F., 331 

Williams, Ezekiel, 60 

Willich, August, 171 

Wilshire's Magazine, a socialist monthly, 344 

Wing, S., 283 

Wisconsin Phalanx, 98, 110-112 

WoodhuU, Victoria, 197, 198 

Woodhull b" Clafliii's Magazine, 197 

Worker, The, socialist weekly, 345 

Working Man's Advocate, Owenite organ, 59 

Working Men's Party, 60 

Working Men's Party of California, 262, 263, 264 

Working Men's Party of the United States, 210 

Workmen's Advocate, The, official organ of the Socialist Labor Party, 

"World, The, as It Is and as It Should Be," Weitling's early work, 

Wright, Camilla, 70 
Wright, Frances, 59, 60, 69, 70 
Wright, J. L., 289 
Wright, Lucy, Shakeress, 29 


Yellow Spring Community, Owenite community, 67, 68 
Young America, Owenite organ, 59 

Zoar, history of community, 34-37